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For donors

Explore additional strategies

Donating cash and assets isn't the only way to make a difference. Keep your eyes, ears, and mind open to different ways of giving. This may include volunteering, serving on a nonprofit board, networking with others aligned to your cause, or learning about different approaches to addressing social problems. Here are some ideas and resources to help.

Contribute your time, talent, and ties

Volunteering can be an excellent way to learn more about the causes you care about and get to know an organization. Check an organization’s website to learn about specific volunteer opportunities. Serving on a nonprofit’s board of directors can be an even better way to help an organization meet its goals, but usually requires a larger investment of time and energy.  

Read what to consider before volunteering or joining a board. 

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Learn and give with others

As your giving journey evolves, you may want to transition from solo research to learning about causes from experienced peer donors, philanthropic experts, and other sector specialists. Many organizations offer educational opportunities for donors, such as workshops or conferences, or networking opportunities like affinity groups. Another option is to hire expert advisors to support you throughout your giving.  

Learn how to take a deeper dive in your cause areas. 

Identify different approaches to tackle social problems

Different nonprofits advocate different approaches to addressing challenges such as homelessness, poverty, food insecurity, and climate change. Some use more than one approach, depending on their capacity. To make the most of your giving dollars, decide which approach you want to support when tackling a cause. This will help you narrow your search for organizations and refine your giving strategy.  

Explore three common approaches to solving social problems. 

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Learn more about charities

There may be times when you want to conduct a more thorough review of an organization. Gather information like legal status, programs and services, strategy, governance, and financials, and make sure to follow up on the organization's monitoring and evaluation processes. Successful organizations routinely assess their programs and services against key indicators and perform internal and third-party evaluations to understand their impact beyond metrics.  

See our framework for conducting due diligence.

Related resources

  • Podcast

    Giving with Impact Podcast

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    Hear leading voices in the philanthropic sector discuss relevant topics.

  • Video

    Three ways to maximize impact

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    Fred Kaynor and Jeff Raikes discuss a strategy that can help donors increase their charitable impact.

  • Podcast

    Trust-based and strategic giving

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    Trust-based philanthropy is about redistributing power in service of a more equitable nonprofit sector.

Keep building your plan

Explore other ways to make the most of your charitable giving.

Identify the goals and causes most important to you and narrow your charitable focus. Also consider involving your family in your giving.

Learn which organizations are eligible for tax deductions, determine which assets to give, and choose your charitable giving vehicles.

Explore ways to create a giving budget and identify charities aligned with your causes.

Decide how you want your gift to be used and the frequency of your giving. Also look for opportunities to hone your plan.