4 Things I Want People Know About GivingTuesday

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  • Immigrant Families Together was established by me in 2018 and eventually registered as a non-profit.
  • To serve the families in need and keep IFT going, we rely on unrestricted donations
  • I want donors know that every dollar counts and that you can help multiple causes.

When I launched the volunteer effortThat would be the future. Immigrant Families Together(IFT), June 2018, my goal NotTo start a non-profit. I had actually fled the nonprofit world 15-years earlier and never looked back. 

After raising $1 million in six months, my accountant gave me an ultimatum. Without formalizing as nonprofit, I would have no legal mechanism to provide transparency and accountability to donors. And since it didn’t seem that our group’s efforts to reunify asylum-seeking migrant families separated by the Trump administration — nor the financial support for those efforts — were going to slow down anytime soon, we filed for nonprofit status in December 2018. 

Transparency and accountability are what donors demand — and with good reason. Many donors don’t realize that these traits, which are conferred by IRS oversight and nonprofit status, can come with huge trade-offs. 

What it means to be an NGO and where our money goes

As a director of a nonprofit, I have to raise lots of money in order for our organization to remain compliant. Our last audit — required when your nonprofit reaches a certain financial threshold — cost nearly $15,000. This is before accounting, insurance, and state-by–state. charity compliance expenses. 

Before we were granted non-profit status, we didn’t have any of these expenses.

Donors want to support programming — the direct service provided to the people supported by an organization — not the boring, largely invisible administrative expenses that ensure the accountability they crave. It’s a loss for nonprofits and a hardship for the people who we serve if these boring bills don’t get paid.

As the country celebrates its 29th birthday, millions of Americans will receive a flood of donation requests via text messages and inboxes. GivingTuesday. The holiday was created in 2012 and is often misunderstood as a day where “average Americans” can engage in philanthropy at all levels. GivingTuesday has resulted in more that $2.7 billion in donations last year, even as its founders insist that GivingTuesday is a movement — not just a single day — intended to foster radical generosity

You can choose to accept the invitation or not. practice philanthropy year-roundHere’s what I, and other nonprofit directors, want you to know about giving before you give: 

1. Philanthropy can be for everyone and it’s a way to help others.

To be a philanthropist, you don’t need to make a lot or come from money. Philanthropy simply means“Love of humanity” is the definition of philanthropy. In action, it refers to “deeds for practical beneficence and work in the interest of others.” Deciding what your own definition of philanthropy looks like is the single most powerful action you can take on GivingTuesday — and every day.

2. Every cent really does matter

You don’t need to be a “big” donor in order to help others. make a big impact. The money we’ve raised at IFT — more than $3 million to date — has been primarily through thousands of small donations. 

In fact, the most memorable and meaningful donation was a $3 contribution from someone who wrote that she wishes she had more but had set aside her Social Security check to support our work. 

Don’t be afraid to give a small donation if you aren’t sure it will make a difference. A responsible nonprofit will be grateful for every penny and put it to good use. 

3. You can care about — and contribute to — multiple causes

This year, nonprofits were more challenged than ever to compete for funding and support with other worthy orgs. Donors have been asked to spread their dollars and attention from the war in Ukraine to the assaults on democracy, women’s rights and democracy. 

A good nonprofit should encourage you not only to care about their cause but also other causes. It should help to see the bigger picture. As IFT says, immigration It isIt is a health-related issue. It It is Climate change is a serious issue. It It isAn education issue, a issue of gender, and a mass incarceration problem. 

To support the dismantling of oppressive systems, you don’t necessarily have to support our organization directly. If you care about multiple issues you can make small donations for multiple organizations. It is possible to care for and give support to multiple causes simultaneously. 

4. Our lodestar is unrestricted donations

Nonprofit directors want donor input and influence — we really do! We also want your donations to be unrestricted, particularly for small organizations such as IFT. When you restrict your donation to a certain slice of our operations, you actually create more work — and cost — for us. 

Unrestricted contributions allow us to direct funds wherever they’re needed most at any time. If you have any concerns about whether an organization is spending your money properly, tools such as GuideStar’s Charity CheckThese questions can be answered quickly by a quick search.

Whatever your location for GivingTuesday donations, remember this: All nonprofits are in trouble right now, due to the ongoing impact of COVID. costs incurred because of inflation. Nevertheless, our services are in great demand.

You can join us in our daily work of supporting stability by creating your own definition and practice radical generosity beyond the one “big giving” day per year. 

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