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What does giving done right mean to you?

Date: December 1, 2020

Grace Nicolette

Vice President, Programming and External Relations, CEP

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On this Giving Tuesday, as I think about how I can be a better donor in the closing month of a year that’s been challenging unlike any other, I’ve been reflecting a lot on what I learned from the inspirational guests my co-host Phil Buchanan and I interviewed this season on CEP’s Giving Done Right podcast. In particular, I’ve found myself coming back to a certain point in each episode.

At the end of every conversation on the show, Phil or I pose a prompt to our guest: “Giving done right to me is about (fill in the blank).” Below, I share what we heard from our guests in the hope that these insights might also help you to figure out how you can make the greatest impact with your charitable giving in a time when nonprofits need support most.

Quotes have been copyedited for print.

Jacqueline Martinez Garcel (CEO of the Latino Community Foundation): Giving done right to me is about investing in people and leaders. It’s putting our resources behind the folks who will go the long run, who will stay the course, and who will lift others up as they rise. Philanthropic giving should really be about investing in the hearts and minds of the leaders that we want to see for our country and our communities.


Jason Hackmann (entrepreneur and major donor): Giving done right to me is about doing it authentically, out of love, and not expecting or wanting to receive anything back.


LaTosha Brown (co-founder of Black Voters Matter): Giving done right to me is about listening and following the directions and the vision of those that you give to, those that you seek to empower.


Tiffany Cooper Gueye (chief operating officer at Blue Meridian Partners): Giving done right to me is about feedback and responsiveness — on the part of all parties involved. I think giving done right is about supporting the work of nonprofit leaders in a way that is responsive to what you’re hearing from them. And I think delivering impact is about being responsive to what is going on in the communities or with the people you’re trying to serve. And so, when giving is done right, it’s listening and it’s being responsive.


Chitra Hanstad (executive director of World Relief Seattle): Giving done right to me is about being led by and working in partnership with communities that you’re serving to find out what is the greatest need, and leveraging your dollars, your time, and your talent to make those things happen in the future.


David Shapiro (CEO of MENTOR): Giving done right to me is about doing so with the most open of minds and hearts that you can. It’s about figuring out how to realize that giving of time is an opportunity to learn, an opportunity to express, an opportunity to reach your hand out. And it’s an opportunity to walk alongside other people, whether you may ever know them or not. I can’t think of an experience that’s been more enriching in my life.


Melinda Tuan (managing director of Fund for Shared Insight): Giving done right to me is about giving more than you think you have and giving creatively with the resources and the networks that you have access to. It’s about giving to immediate needs, as well as thinking about the long run — direct needs as well as systemic change. And, ultimately, it’s about giving with passion. Because you’re going to feel good about the things you are giving to if you believe in them, if you’re involved, and if you’re meaningfully connected.

Grace Nicolette is vice president, programming and external relations, at CEP and co-host of the Giving Done Right podcast. Follow her on Twitter at @gracenicolette.

Have you found Giving Done Right to be a helpful resource to you? To learn about opportunities to sponsor Season 2, contact Grace at

Editor’s Note: CEP publishes a range of perspectives. The views expressed here are those of the authors, not necessarily those of CEP.

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