Few topics get more personal than figuring out the why, how, and how much of charitable giving. A few years ago, when my husband, Tim, and I sat down to flesh out our giving priorities as a couple, it was an eye-opening experience to say the least.
We started out by sharing what organizations we’d been giving to individually, and then discussed which ones we’d like to support as a family going forward. We knew, of course, that choosing certain causes or organizations to support in a meaningful way would mean less for other important causes or organizations near and dear to us. We could (and did) increase the total amount of our giving, but we realized we couldn’t give to everything on our list.
This left us thinking: should we try to pick just a few organizations and go deeper? Or should we spread out our giving? In a world of many urgent needs, which causes are the most urgent? The deliberating wasn’t simple (and resulted in some heated conversations!). But this wasn’t surprising since, after all, the decisions we were making tapped into our deepest values as individuals and as a family.
In a world rife with pressing problems, we have the capacity to make a difference through how we choose to put the resources we hold to use. But why is it so difficult to figure out the best way to do that? Like many, in my own journey toward being a smarter and savvier donor, I’ve wrestled with a number of seemingly basic but actually quite complex questions. Questions like:
How much do I give?
Where should I give?
How do I know if I’m making a difference — or if I’m actually doing more harm than help?
Personally, I want to put my money where my mouth is. I want to know whether I’m giving enough and in the best ways possible to make a difference. And I want you to join me in working toward this goal.
That’s why I’m excited to share today that this fall CEP is launching a new podcast: Giving Done Right. Co-hosted by CEP President Phil Buchanan and myself, the show covers everything you need to know to make an impact with your charitable giving — whether you’re giving a few hundred dollars a year, a few thousand, or a few million.
Every episode, Phil and I will welcome leaders and experts onto the show to join us in tackling philanthropy’s burning questions. Together, we’ll bust some myths that have long plagued donors and nonprofits alike; we’ll draw connections to how giving can counter racial inequality; and we’ll explore the roles of faith, family, and identity in giving. We hope to keep it real, honest, and personal. Because, as I’ve learned, giving is personal.
If you want to dig into what it takes to effectively put your charitable dollars to work, we hope you’ll join us. Listen to the trailer here, and tune into Giving Done Right, every Thursday beginning October 1, on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.
Grace Nicolette is vice president, programming and external relations, at CEP. Follow her on Twitter at @gracenicolette.