Total charitable impact


#GivingTuesday kicks off the 2017 Giving Season—How will you have a greater impact this year?

November 28, 2017


By Rebecca Moffett​


Today, November 28, hundreds of millions of dollars will be raised through online and social media platforms in honor of #GivingTuesday—a global day of charity. For those unfamiliar, Giving Tuesday follows Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, and officially kicks off the charitable “Giving Season”—a time where our team at Vanguard Charitable is humbled by our donors’ philanthropic passion and generosity. It is also a time where the increased granting and charitable activity forces us to step back and ask ourselves: How we can help our donors have an even greater impact this year than the year prior?


While we remain focused on providing an exceptional program for our donors to facilitate their philanthropy, we also recognize that charity is very personal—and maximizing your impact through giving is challenging. A recent conversation with a new donor, Caroline, provided an example of the responsibility our donors feel to make a real difference. Last month, Caroline experienced a financial windfall and decided to make a significant commitment to philanthropy by opening an account with us. The account was named after her childhood best friend who had since passed away, and the hope was to honor her memory by giving to causes she was passionate about—lung cancer research and wetland preservation.  In the process of setting up the account, Caroline shared her personal challenge:


        “Through this account I will be able to give at levels that my best                  friend was not able to do, so I feel an extra layer of responsibility to              make a difference in her name. How can you help me determine                  how to have the greatest impact with these philanthropic dollars?”


This is a question strategic donors often face in their giving decisions. As you think through your giving, this Giving Season and beyond, here are three tools to help you achieve the most with your granting:


  1. Not sure where to start?
    Not everyone has a specific mission like Caroline’s in mind. Many donors receive hundreds of solicitations from charities, or have been influenced by a variety of causes over their lifetime, and struggle to narrow their focus.  Review Create your charitable plan and challenge yourself with thought-provoking questions to help you concentrate your interests and discover how to deepen your commitment to a cause.
  2. How are similar donors making an impact in the region and cause areas I care deeply about?
    If you know the general causes you like to support, you may be interested in learning more about how donors like you are granting. The Vanguard Charitable philanthropic community is extremely generous and last year supported nearly 30,000 charities. Use this interactive tool to see the 10 most frequently supported charities by our donors across four geographic regions and four interest areas.

  3. How can I find charities doing work in cause areas I care about?
    Caroline was interested in discovering organizations focused on lung cancer research, and needed a tool that would help her learn about different charities’ goals, key strategies, and how they will measure and report on progress. In September, Vanguard Charitable launched the GuideStar National Nonprofit Directory, an interactive tool built into the grant recommendation flow in a donor’s account. The Nonprofit Directory offers donors multiple search filters related to cause and sub-cause area, geography, and financials. An additional filter for GuideStar’s seal of transparency rating also allows a donor to have deeper look “under the hood” of an organization.  In the case of Caroline, after searching specifically for lung cancer and choosing the “Health” cause area, she further drilled down into a sub-cause area, and then selected the organizations with her preferred transparency rating.  After applying these specific filters, Caroline found four organizations and now has robust profiles to review and research further.


Log in or open a new account to begin using this tool, exclusive to Vanguard Charitable donors.


As you watch #GivingTuesday trend on social media November 28, pause and consider how you will increase your charitable impact this giving season and beyond—and how the resources above can help you get there.

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