7 Questions I Ask To Decide Where To Give

Every Gift Matters | Blog | 2 Min.
Written By: Carrie Morgridge | Posted On: 07/29/2015

Running a foundation means that I am constantly asked to give to worthy and noble causes.  As with every giving decision, there are plenty of options to consider.  For example, I usually like investing in an organization that is part of my community.  It makes for easy access, freely sharing ideas, and getting to know the founders and staff.

That’s just one of the many things I look for when faced with the reality that I cannot give to every cause.  To work through the many requests, I developed a methodical process for determining whether I will give to a particular organization.

So here are some of the key things I always look for when I consider making a gift:

  1. Is there an atmosphere of trust and understanding? For us, the most successful philanthropic relationships are the ones built on respect, personal friendships, and mutual trust.
  1. Do we have shared goals and values?: Does the requesting organization share the same goals for giving—to impact as many people as possible?
  1. Will we make immediate impact?: I want my gifts not to get bogged down in process and bureaucracy so that the benefit can be realized right away.
  1. Does their team leverage well?: Organizations I give to need to understand how to effectively multiply the buying power of every dollar I give.
  1. What’s the ripple effect?: I love it when a donation has additional benefits I never expected.
  1. Do they put energy behind small gifts?: I like it when an important chunk of an organization’s support comes from very modest gifts.
  1. Will they compound the impact of the gift over time?: Over time, modest gifts wisely invested can grow in an amazing way.  When a nonprofit is smart about spending they’re likely to attract larger gifts.

This list is by no means comprehensive, and of course you should ask the questions that are important to you, but this should give you some good questions to start with.

For me, wherever I find organizations to support, whatever amount I decide to give, it all comes down to partnering with people who share my passion and my conviction that every dollar can always work harder.  This is my life—a small-town California girl with big dreams who is grateful every day for the path her life has taken and the chance to give back.

Like what you hear? Pick up a copy of Every Gift Matters: How Your Passion Can Change the World, now available at Amazon.