Donating A Drop In The Bucket? How to Leverage Your Giving and Provide Greater Value

By Debbie Nutley | January 21, 2019

In the podcast “My Little Hundred Million” Malcom Gladwell muses about a donation made by Hank Rowan of $100 million to a small university that didn't hold any great personal connection for Rowan. You should listen to it, especially if you have $100M burning a hole in your pocket.

Is the reflection still worthwhile for those of us with donations in the tens, hundreds, or thousands? Can we do more than donate what feels like a drop in the bucket? Oh, yes we can!

Many of us have donated a relatively small amount to a well-run organization; sending twenty-five dollars to a disaster relief organization after a hurricane must do some good when combined with all the other donations. Now let’s consider what else we can do.

Create a giving circle with your friends or family. Pool your donations and pick a nonprofit for your one collective donation. Maybe volunteer as a team at that nonprofit, even if it is once a year. Remember that donating your professional expertise such as marketing, business planning, or human resources could save tens of thousands in costs and potentially take your chosen nonprofit to the next stage in its growth.

Or coordinate extended services for your favorite nonprofit. For example, if your nonprofit provides job placement services for underserved populations, their beneficiaries probably need guidance on interviewing. Ask the recruiter at your employer to conduct a one hour workshop once a month at the nonprofit. They also may need fresh haircuts and clean and crisp clothes. So, ask your own dry cleaner to offer x amount of free dry cleaning and your barber to offer x number of free haircuts. These businesses are more likely to agree to a request from you, their customer, than they would if the nonprofit asked directly. 

Or connect two complementary nonprofits. Possibly there is one nonprofit that promotes healthy eating among children and another that provides after school recreational activities. Host a meeting where the two nonprofits can explore how to work together so the kids who learn to eat healthy can also participate in recreational activities and visa-versa. Maybe these two nonprofits find out they can share resources as well. 

You don't have to be a millionaire to offer high value to your favorite nonprofit and its beneficiaries. Go ahead - muse about it ! 

This article was originally published on LinkedIn


Money By: Nick Ares (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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