There are so many good causes to which we donate our time, money and talents that it’s often difficult to choose which ones to support. One philosophy is to give a little to everyone who asks, but when that becomes overwhelming, philanthropy consultant
Fern Portnoy offers suggestions to help identify our passions and how we can be most helpful. There are four C’s of giving, she says: clarity, consideration, commitment and consequences.
It is important to identify the causes in which you are most interested. What pulls at your heart strings? Is it children? How about providing special equipment for premature babies at the neonatal intensive care unit or at a rehabilitation facility for handicapped children?
Is it healthcare research? There are walks, runs and fundraisers for almost every uncured disease, and if there isn’t one yet, you can help to build awareness. Would you prefer to help build or rehab a home for low-income families or those hit by disaster? Would “adopting” a giraffe at the zoo or an injured pet from an animal shelter make you feel like you’ve contributed?
Are music and the arts important to you? Sponsoring a professional musical performance or donating instruments to grade school children are valid giving opportunities.
Are you a gifted sculptor? Perhaps you’d like to donate your time, expertise or supplies to help young sculptors learn the art.
Would you like to get more involved in your church or your children’s school activities? There are plenty of opportunities to teach Sunday School, tutor students or volunteer in the library or at athletic events.
After you identify what charities or organizations you most want to support, you can then determine your level of commitment. Is it financial only, or do you really want to get involved on a board or actually mentor a child or adult?
After a year’s commitment, you can evaluate how you believe your time, talent and finances have helped the organization. Giving to an unknown cause with no follow- up from the recipient makes it difficult to make a repeat gift. It’s important that one be emotionally motivated to give.
In this issue of The Peoria Woman, we highlight the women who were honored at this year’s YWCA Leader Luncheon. Read their stories—they show a unique diversity in their passions.
There are so many different opportunities in which one can make a difference… so many unique events to make the giving fun and develop relationships with one another. It is when we give that we receive, and our community’s giving spirit is overwhelming. TPW