Tips for making donations in light of National Philanthropy Day

It’s hard to make good decisions regarding donations – especially when there are many urgent needs and countless ways to spend charitable dollars. With National Philanthropy Day coming up on Nov. 15, David Campbell, associate professor of public administration at Binghamton University and an expert on philanthopy, has best practices you may want to consider before you contribute.

Give money, not goods

The ideal way to show your compassion is to donate money to a charity that you respect, rather than shipping goods. Goods given during emergencies often go to waste. These donations can even do more harm than good when they interfere with disaster response efforts.

Donate to organizations operating on the scene

It’s generally a good idea to support groups operating in the midst of the disaster. They can give money and other aid to the people who need it directly.

Support established nonprofits

Sometimes new groups sprout up to respond to catastrophes but they often have shortcomings. It can take time for new groups to get up and running, and in the meantime there’s no track record for donors to check out.

Consider long-term priorities

Be mindful that people will need money long after the disaster stops making headlines. Your donation may matter six months or even years from now as much as it does today. 

Maximize the speed and size of your gift

If getting your money to a community fast is your top concern, make online donations with a credit card or a debit card. 

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