What You Should and Shouldn’t Do When Meeting With a Philanthropy Donor

A non-profit organization needs to rely on donors if it is to be successful, but meeting with those prospective donors can be daunting. It’s easy for a novice to say or do the wrong thing and lose a potentially valuable donation during this process, so here are just a few things that you should and should not do when meeting with donors.

Do Your Homework

Before you meet with a prospective donor, familiarize yourself with them as much as possible. Most organizations and individuals who are willing to make a large charitable donation most likely have a history that can be studied with a few Google searches, so you have no excuse for not knowing anything about them. Learn what their organization stands for if they have one, what kinds of causes they’ve donated to in the past, and anything else you think might be useful. Be careful about going into too much personal history about an individual though; you don’t want to come across as a stalker or someone who will bring up uncomfortable information during your meeting.

Leave For Your Meeting Early

Never assume that things will go perfectly for you when you leave for any meeting. Getting stuck in traffic because of an accident or bad weather could easily make you late, which is one of the worst things that can happen when you are going to a meeting with a potential donor. Give yourself 15 to 30 minutes of extra time when you leave for your meeting, especially if you’re going someplace that is unfamiliar. Just try not to be too early for your meeting. Having to wait about ten minutes in a lobby is one thing, but if you’re a whole half hour early, either go someplace else to wait so you don’t come off as too eager and desperate.

Know What You Want, But Be Flexible

You should have an idea of what kind of donation you want for your meeting before you go in, and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for that. On the other hand, you should also be flexible and be willing to compromise. Even if you don’t get the donation you wanted, a smaller donation is better than nothing at all. Don’t just as for any donation, though. Not putting an amount on what you need will just tell your donor that you don’t care enough about your cause and could cause you to walk away with an amount that really isn’t worth your time. In other words, be prepared to negotiate.

How Cryptocurrency and Blockchain are Changing Philanthropy

Most of the headlines surrounding cryptocurrencies tout its revolutionary impact on the monetary system and the vast fortunes being made almost overnight. Famously, the Winkelvoss twins became Bitcoin billionaires. YouTube and social media outlets are crammed full of Bitcoin gurus and promotors showing how average Joe’s became wealthy. From all the hype, it would seem cryptocurrency fosters an avarice that would make Gordon Gecko proud.

Perhaps it does. But a less known aspect of the cryptocurrency revolution is how it is changing philanthropy. As detailed by Cointelegraph, cryptocurrency offers charities options for fundraising, issuing charity coins, and creating crypto-foundations. Some philanthropists are actively using cryptocurrency to increase their charitable efforts.

Many well-known charitable organizations have started accepting Bitcoin donations, at least on a trial basis. Red Cross, Save the Children, United Way, and Electronic Frontier Foundation are amongst the charities accepting Bitcoin. Fidelity Charitable took in $69 million in Bitcoin donations for 2017.

The new crypto charity platform BitHope provides a convenient way for donors to give to their favorite charities. The site advertises that users can utilize their Bitcoins to give hope. Platform users simply navigate to BitHope’s website, where they can search for available charities.

Most initial coin offerings (ICOs) are for business. They are typically used to raise startup capital, much like an initial public offering of stock, though an ICO requires substantially less red tape and remains largely outside the purview of government regulators. Charitable-minded people who believe in a certain cause can now give through charitable coins. For example, Clean Water Coin has been invented to raise money for the charity Water, which works to provide clean water to families in regions suffering scarcity. Pinkcoin offers a unique platform where investors can earn a return and give to charity.

Foundations have long been a mainstay of the charity world. It seems natural that they should extend into the cryptocurrency world, considering that many view cryptocurrency as the future of money. Many charities have already been set up and provide large donations of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to a large number of charities.

Cryptocurrency shows no sign of slowing down. From ICOs to surging valuations, fortunes are being made. History has shown that when people make tremendous amounts of money, they feel obligated to give back. In the world of cryptocurrency, the charitable giving infrastructure is already being built.

How Billionaires Are Pooling Assets For A New Philanthropic Fund

Several billionaire philanthropists who signed Bill Gates and Warren Buffett’s “Giving Pledge” have agreed to combine some of their resources and to develop new ideas for giving their money to philanthropic causes. Recently, Bill Gates, Richard Chandler, Jeff Skoll, Romesh Wadhwani and others have joined to launch Co-Impact, an organization committed to improving global health, education and economic inequality.

 

Giving Pledge

In 2010, billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett created the campaign “The Giving Pledge.” This campaign inspires wealthy people to donate part of their money to philanthropic causes. The pledge is not a contract but a moral agreement to give at least half of their net worth to charity, either during their lifetime or upon their death. The Giving Pledge initially had 40 donors but has increased to 158 in seven years. Over $365 billion dollars has been pledged from the most wealthy including donations by Mark Zuckerberg, David Rockefeller, and Sara Blakely.

 

Co-Impact

Co-Impact was founded due to the evolving approach to philanthropy, which connects philanthropists, non-profit organizations, government, social leaders, and the private sector to make change collectively. The group plans to connect, support and leverage to provide world-wide change. The organization has set a goal to donate at least $500 million to provide economic opportunities, advance education, and improve health for all people.

“Time is not on our side on some of the world’s most pressing issues,” Jeff Skoll, Co-Partner of Co-Impact, said. “Investing more in social entrepreneurs’ proven work allows them to accelerate their pace and reach, and enhances the possibility of achieving transformational social change sooner.”

The core of Co-Impact is to bring public and private groups together to create a “systems change.” Unfortunately, there are not many mechanisms to match leaders aiming to solve social issues with the donors and philanthropists interested in providing the right size and kinds of capital. Co-Impact wants to connect social change leaders with the donors who both share a vision to make change.

“Partnerships between social change leaders, youth, women and communities are essential to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General for the United Nations, said. “If we want to improve people’s health and well-being, provide education and economic opportunities for all, we must scale up solutions. Co-Impact can make a meaningful contribution to building more peaceful and prosperous societies and creating a brighter future for all.”

 

Co-Impact is committed to improving global health, education and economic inequality around the world by connecting wealthy philanthropists to social change leaders. The organization is breaking down barriers to large-scale change and improving the lives the millions.

What To Consider Before Donating To Charity This Holiday Season

The holiday season is finally here, and you can’t get your mind off your to-do list. Your list is long, as usual, but there is one thing that makes it different from other lists that you have made before: it includes giving some money to a charitable organization. You want to be a change agent and help make the world a better place. Before you give, however, be aware that there are fake charity organizations out there that want to take advantage of your generosity and compassion for others. You want to ensure your hard-earned money is benefiting a worthy cause. Here is what you should consider before you donate to a charitable organization this holiday.

Are They Legitimate?

Charity solicitations increase during holidays. Before you give, it is crucial to ensure the non-profit organizations you choose are legitimate. How can you tell if a non-profit is legit or not? The first thing you should consider is the word-of-mouth. Do your friends and colleagues know about the organization? You should also conduct research online to find out what other donors and other people say about the organization. Besides, there are also online tools that have popped up in recent years that can help you know whether or not an organization is worth donating to. Use every source possible!

Tip: Donate only to organizations that you know and have confidence in what they do and represent.

Who Runs The Organization?

Information about the people running a non-profit will also help you know if it’s worth it or not. Well-run charitable organizations are effective and have a transparent management team. Are they responsive and committed to the people they serve? How will they show you that your donations will be put to good use? Answers to these questions will help you know what you are getting yourself into.

Tip: Look at the organization’s financial records will help you know the kind of people that run the organization.

Does The Non-Profit Organization Have Tax-Exempt Status?

When giving to charity, it’s advisable to ensure your donations are tax-deductible. The best way to make sure this happens is to ensure you only deal with accepted non-profit organizations. If an organization claims to have a have tax-exempt status, don’t take their word for it. Make sure you use every resource possible to verify that information.

Tip: Check if the organization is in the IRS online charity database is the easiest way to know if it has a 501(c)(3) tax exemption.

Don’t judge a non-profit based on its name. Be bold and ask the hard questions. This way, you will identify a non-profit that will help make a difference.

Philanthropy’s Most Powerful Women 2017

In 2017, we saw the power of women grow in society like never before, and their influence in philanthropy continued to increase simultaneously. The following four women were standouts in the philanthropy community.

Melinda Gates, Co-Founder,  Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Forbes writes that Gates continues her run as the most powerful woman in philanthropy as co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Her laser focus on health is having a real impact as she showed in the foundation’s first “Goalkeepers” report which presented hard metrics behind the giving. Maternal deaths in Ethiopia are down 57% since 1990 thanks, in part, to foundation efforts to get more mothers to give birth in health care facilities.

Alexandra Cohen, Co-Founder, Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation

Alex is the wife of the controversial hedge funder Steve Cohen, who commands one of the largest fortunes in finance. The Cohens focus mainly on healthcare and education, with the arts as another major interest. All signs point to continued increases. Forbes explains that while the couple is quite private, Alex is a key figure in their giving, with a backstory that helps explain why: She grew up in a low-income New York neighborhood.

Jennifer Buffett, Co-Founder, The NoVo Foundation

According to Inside Philanthropy, The NoVo Foundation that Jennifer Buffett leads may not rank among the largest foundations in the U.S., but it is one of the biggest family foundations led by a woman and it gives at a very substantial level: $56.7 million in grants in 2012 alone. And it’s only up from there, given that Warren Buffett has pledged shares of Berkshire Hathaway stock to NoVo that will ultimately total several billion dollars.

Eliza Manningham-Buller, Chair, The Wellcome Trust

Established in 1936 at the behest of pharmaceutical entrepreneur Henry Wellcome, the Wellcome Trust is now one of the biggest medical trusts in the world. The trust continues to tackle the globe’s biggest health problems, including working on a vaccine for Ebola and a potential cure for three tropical diseases. The trust announced that it’ll donate over $1 billion in 2017-18.

Female heads of nonprofits usually make less than their male counterparts. GuideStar’s 2017 Nonprofit Compensation Report found that male CEOs make 21% more than female CEOs of organizations with budgets of $50 million or more. With that in mind, it is even more important to acknowledge Melinda Gates, Alexandra Cohen, Jennifer Buffett and Eliza Manningham-Buller as 2017’s most powerful women philanthropists.

Seven Strategic Philanthropy Lessons

Although mission-based philanthropy is highly individualized, there are some broadly applicable lessons. The following seven strategic philanthropy lessons, followed correctly, will be a recipe for success in your philanthropic adventure.

1. Align Investments with Mission

Nearly $1 trillion currently sits in foundations and donor-advised funds. This money is committed to charitable missions, has received a tax deduction and can’t be returned. Each year, just 5 to 20 percent of that amount is distributed to nonprofits. The rest is usually invested for the single bottom line of financial growth.

2. Go Deep, Not Large

Donors and beneficiaries alike reward donors when they focus deeply on a scaled-down selection of meticulously chosen key concerns or will cause. Wealth Management.com explains that impact investing that uses mission-related investing, program-related investments and socially responsible investing tools can help you achieve much more bang for your philanthropic buck.

3. In Decision-making, Use Two Lenses

The Denver Post suggests that when setting philanthropic goals, donors should look through two lenses. The external lens helps us answer the question, “What are we hoping to accomplish for our community, country or world?” The internal lens helps us answer, “What am I hoping to achieve for my family, business or self by donating hard-earned money and precious time to charity?” Both questions are important. Your answers inform an effective strategy to achieve both internal and external goals through philanthropy.

4. Create a “Safe Zone” for Family Philanthropy

In most cases, philanthropy represents a small fraction of a family’s assets. Bruce Debosky recommends that you create a separate table for consideration of these assets, and invite all members of the family to sit there as equals. This is a key step toward creating a “safe zone” for improved communication about philanthropy, which can lead to more engagement, enhanced family dynamics and greater impact.

5. Give Boldly and Take Risks

People rarely donate so much to charity that they can no longer provide for themselves or their loved ones. Yet many of us can give far more than we do. Your financial advisor can help determine what you can really afford to give, and then give boldly. Taking calculated risks with grant making may be the only way to find new solutions to old problems.

6. Engage Other Stakeholders

Business stakeholders can include employees, directors, shareholders, customers, vendors, regulators, lenders and community leaders. Each stakeholder offers a different and valuable perspective on the role of the company in the community. This tactic enhances internal and external effectiveness.

7. Give While You Live

When you give while you live, you can learn about and experience the internal and external impacts of your philanthropy in real time!

Philanthropy, done well, is a powerful tool that adds joy and purpose to life and enhances business success. Follow these seven strategic philanthropy lessons and you will make the most of your philanthropic experience!

The Most Influential Nonprofit Organizations

In the wake of the natural disasters that have occurred over the last few months, nonprofit organizations are important. These organizations strive to make an impact by helping people. If you are looking to donate your time or finances, here is a look at the top nonprofit organizations in the World.

National 4H Council

4H is one of the most historic land grant universities in the World. 4H has a large mentoring and development organization. National 4H Council emphasizes public service and strives to help out communities. The National 4H Council has positively impacted millions of young people through its large network of volunteers.

PBS

The Public Broadcasting Services have reached multiple generations of people through their intriguing, high quality programs. PBS hopes to positively influence people regardless of their gender, socioeconomic status, or race. The famous home of Reading Rainbow, Barney, and Sesame Street, PBS Kids is available to everyone free of charge.

TED

The Technology, Education, and Design nonprofit organization was founded by Richard Wurmah. TED was originally a conference for people who wanted to establish new relationships. Today, TED strives to increase awareness about commerce, innovation, and society.

The Rotary Foundation

The Rotary Foundation is made up of many volunteer organized projects that strive to help communities. The Rotary Club is actively backed by more than a million people. The Rotary Foundation uses their funds to create grants that start neighborhood cleanups, among other initiatives.

United Nations Children’s Fund

UNICEF is committed to the health of every child in the World. UNICEF strives to make sure that every child receives the proper education and nutrition. The organization sets aside billions of dollars to go towards medical supplies and services to make sure that every child receives the necessary vaccines.

Human Rights Watch

The Human Rights Watch is made up of hundreds of lawyers, journalists, and other experts around the World who investigate information about the global outlook. The Human Rights Watch issues multiple reports and briefings throughout the year. The Human Rights Watch works with different financial institutions, government officials, and corporations.

Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is one of the most famous environmental organizations in The World. The Sierra Club promotes clean energy, and has helped pass the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act.

What is the Center for Disaster Preparedness

If you are like millions of people around the world, you watched in horror as Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath tore up Texas and Louisiana. Many individuals were moved like the members of the Cajun Navy to move into the area to provide immediate help while thousands were moved to donate their hard-earned money to help victims. Most of the giving came within a week of the disaster and almost 80 percent of donations will come in the first month. Yet, recovery is a long-term process. As of September 12, 2017, 692,030 people had applied for federal emergency disaster help through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Who is the Center for Disaster Preparedness?

Nearly everyone who opened their Facebook and Google accounts to be confronted with a request for donations. Facebook even announced that they would match donors pledges up to $1 million. Those donations went to a Washington D.C.-based think-tank called the Center for Disaster Preparedness led by Bob Ottenhoff that has been in operation since 2012. In 2016, this organization operated on a seven-person staff with a $4.4 million budget. This is the first time that the organization will handle anywhere near the amount of donations they are likely to receive. In addition to providing funding for organizations working on hurricane relief, the group assists with disaster funding for lesser-covered events like the severe flooding in Asia.

What Does the Center for Disaster Preparedness Do?

Storm victims are unlikely to recognize this nonprofit in the immediate wake of the hurricane. In fact, they may never recognize the name because this organization is not aiming to do hands-on relief. Instead, it is a clearinghouse that will distribute funds to organizations that are providing relief now and far into the future. It is the goal of Center for Disaster Preparedness to identify unmet needs and encourage organizations to meet those needs. The center takes only 5 percent of donated funds to cover their administrative costs, and it allows donors to determine what disaster their donations will help fund. The first funds will not be distributed for two to six months after Hurricane Harvey wrecked havoc as it came on land at Rockport, Texas.

Who Directs the Center for Disaster Preparedness?

Robert Ottenhoff is the Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Disaster Preparedness who is the former director of GuideStar. Regina A. Webster is the vice president of the center. In addition to working with FEMA, she has managed the emergency portfolio for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

 

Breast Cancer Awareness Month & How You Can Help

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. One out of every eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer sometime in their life. Such a prevalent condition deserves as much publicity and attention as possible. Take the initiative this October to donate, become a corporate partner, contribute to the Art of Hope Gala, or utilize social media to educate and share your story.

Donate

By donating to the cause, you help a multitude of different people. Educational resources are created and utilized as prevention tools to provide information about breast cancer to people who otherwise may not have access to it. Your donation helps provide free mammograms to members of the public who are in need, so that breast cancer diagnosis can begin early and coincide with effective treatments. Otherwise, the same individuals risk being diagnosed later on in the cancer progression and met with less probability of remission, or worse. Patient navigation programs to help people through treatment are another objective of donated funds. This sort of support is invaluable to patients and family members alike. Fortunately, eighty percent of funds go directly to programs rather than to administrative support or overhead. You’ll rest assured that your donation is making as big an impact as possible.

Corporate Partnership

By establishing a partnership to support breast cancer awareness, you are establishing trust in your organization. Most of the general public is likely to buy from a company with strong moral values. By investing in breast cancer awareness, you are proving exactly that. Employees will be inspired by your organization’s social commitment to the cause.

Art of Hope Gala

By sponsoring or attending the gala in March in Dallas, Texas, you are demonstrating support and commitment to an enormously important cause. Thanks to your participation, more people will have access to the medical and social supports they need to stay healthy and happy.

Social Media

Engage with your community on social media to educate others about the importance of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Utilize images, text, and infographics to spread the word. Pink ribbons and inspiring messages are both symbols of the ongoing fight against breast cancer that are simple to work into existing conversations. Sharing a story about yourself or a loved one who is battling breast cancer or has survived it lets people know that the condition is real, serious, and beatable. Your words matter; use them to empower the people around you.

Truly, there are lots of ways to participate in Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Take your pick, engage your audience, and teach people why October matters.

New App Looks to Put Philanthropy in the Hands of Mobile Generation

At a certain point in life most people feel the need to give back. Philanthropy plays a big part in the lives of many of the wealthy people, but there are also some young people that would like to give to others as well. Fortunately, this new generation of smart device users are going to be able to become philanthropists through their apps. They don’t have to write big checks for any colleges and make donations in this way. They can actually get connected to an app that allows them to do what they need to do without ever leaving their home.

A new app like Give 2 Charity makes it possible for people that have smartphones to convert their location into points for a donation. This is something that has become innovative over the years because it gives people the ability to donate to different causes as soon as they find out about something that is going on. The great thing about apps like this is that it provides people with the opportunity to give to lots of to organizations like American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, American Cancer Society and the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

This is where technology is going, and people can look forward to moving apps like this where technology plays an important part in communication and regular donations towards certain causes.

App users have a lot to think about when it comes to the development of apps. It has always been stated that there is an app for everything, and this joke has taken life and become reality. It is possible that there are apps for just about everything that people would like to engage in, and philanthropy appears to be the newest thing that is getting buzz in the app community.

The thing that has managed to make this app spread is the attention that it gets from social media. There are a lot of people that are tweeting about it and posting likes about it through Facebook. That allows even more people to become connected with this type of app and the possibilities that exist for giving through a philanthropy app like this. No longer do people have to complain that they do not have the possibility to give. This app is putting the concept of giving into the hands of those that have smartphones. This shows how app software is evolving.