December is always a busy time for nonprofits. Many individuals make donations for year-end tax purposes, and so mailboxes are typically filled with appeals from charities this time of year. In addition, health and human service nonprofits also see an uptick in requests for assistance as the reality of holiday hardships and big heating bills begin to hit families. We know that our phone has been ringing with such calls.
Please be a smart and informed donor. Make sure that the nonprofits receiving your gifts of money are running efficient, effective programs that show strong results. Ask if they are local and what other local organizations they partner with. Listen closely to the answer.
Every nonprofit can tell a heart-wrenching story of need, but ask about long-term results in addressing those needs. Ask about finances; does that charity have a yearly outside professional audit, or post their financial statement on their website? If a charity is regularly claiming a financial crisis or announcing the imminent closure of this program or that if a certain amount is not raised, their fiscal management should be questioned. Be smart with your charitable donations, so you can be sure your money is being used in a way that will have the greatest impact.
Posted by Kim Connolly
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