Charitable Strategies part four:
Turning your strategy into action
In part three of our charitable strategies series, we provided guidance on how to find your charitable passion. In this segment we will help you craft your giving strategy and turn that strategy into a plan of action.
Draft your mission statement
Create an actionable mission statement based on your values. Then, use this foundation to develop more specific, measurable goals over time.
1. Outline the problem you want to address:
Are you preserving something of value?
Do you want to improve something that needs to be changed?
Example problem: Rural communities historically have had poor access to healthcare services.
2. What is a solution to this problem that you would like to pursue?
Having more health care providers located in rural areas.
3. What method do you want to use to reach the desired solution?
Funding an organization that builds and maintains community health centers.
4. Combine your problem, solution, and method to create your mission statement.
In order to improve access to healthcare in rural communities I am going to work to increase the number of health care providers in these areas by funding an organization that builds and maintains community health centers.
Find partner organizations
There are more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the United States. Determining the organizations that best complement your strategy can be a tall order.
Locate the Find a charity button on the right hand side of your dashboard. This takes you to the GuideStar Directory embedded within your charitable giving account.
From here you can search for charities based on a variety of characteristics, including geographical location, organizational details, cause area, level of transparency, financials, and more.
Continuing with the example from above, we can enter Rural Communities as a search term. We can then further refine the search by selecting to view only charities that have earned one of the GuideStar transparency seals. Transparency seals, ranging from bronze to platinum, are given to nonprofits based on the amount of information they provide to GuideStar. These seals show an organization’s level of openness about its programs, structure, and results.
Next, we can select cause and subcause areas.
We now have a selection of charities that meet our criteria. Click on the name of a charity to view its profile and learn more about the mission.
If you find a charity that meets your needs, you can click Add to saved charities and save it for further review or future granting. You may want to break up your research over a few sessions. Once you have identified a couple of charities that fit your needs, you can visit their websites, read their annual reports and additional information about how past grants and projects have gone. This can help inform your decision to partner with them.
After you have selected a charity to partner with, develop specific goals for your giving based on information you’ve gathered in your research. These can include both short- and long-term goals. What do you want to accomplish this year? How about over the next five?
1 GuideStar is a property of Candid, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, EIN 13-1837418. Candid connects people who want to change the world to the resources they need to do it. The GuideStar Directory of Charities and Nonprofit Organizations is the most complete source of information about U.S. charities and other nonprofit organizations there is. Search their database of more than 1.8 million IRS-recognized organizations to find a charity to support, benchmark a nonprofit's performance, research the sector, and more.