(BPT) – The holiday season is the ideal opportunity to think about where – and how much – you can give to your favorite causes before the year’s end. The 2018 giving season is off to a strong start, with nonprofits receiving a record $380 million on this year’s Giving Tuesday. Keep in mind, there’s still plenty of time to support important initiatives, charities and individuals making a difference, whether it’s for yourself or a unique gift in the name of a loved one.
Create a plan for giving that matters
Get started by creating a plan for your year-end charitable contributions today. With a little research, you can give a meaningful gift that will have a lasting impact on the causes you care about.
If your passion is wildlife and wild places, a unique resource is available to connect you to people in the field protecting your favorite species. The heroes of the Indianapolis Prize, the world’s leading award for animal conservation, have made it easier than ever to give to conservation projects around the world that have a proven track record of success.
By giving to the organizations in Champions for Our Planet: The Indianapolis Prize Guide to Animal Conservation Giving, you can feel confident knowing that your dollars are directly supporting projects that are doing the most good for endangered species. The beautiful online booklet highlights a variety of animals, as well as the people who have dedicated their lives to protecting them. Support your favorite animal or an effort that is meaningful to you.
Vetting causes for holiday giving
Is your favorite animal species not on the list? The guide offers ideas on how to vet conservation organizations that you’re considering supporting financially. Ask these questions to discover worthwhile causes that are a smart investment in a sustainable future:
1. Does the organization’s mission align with my personal values?
2. How recently has the organization updated its mission statement and long-range plan?
3. Is the organization supported by a credible anchoring institution, such as a college or university, or an accredited zoo or aquarium?
4. Does the organization involve local communities in conservation activities? Does it provide additional support (such as education, health care or other basic needs) to the communities where endangered species live?
5. Does the organization have a budget that reflects its mission and programs?
6. Does the organization provide regular updates on its impact and financials in the form of an Annual Report or formal update?
7. Can the organization clearly identify specific measurable success?
8. Is the organization recognized by other evaluating organizations such as the Better Business Bureau, Charity Navigator or GuideStar?
This holiday season, remember what’s most important. As you look to maximize your charitable giving, the online guide and these tips will help you make the most of your financial generosity.