Philanthropic Passion: Choosing a Nonprofit

A business man that looks worried about questions floating around in his head.

Giving to others is part of human nature. We all want to support others because giving is about “making a difference.” Companies receive donation requests from multiple nonprofits monthly and for some companies the act of giving simply becomes habit. They write checks to the same nonprofit year after year without having a true passion for its programming and mission. Finding the right organizational fit can be timely and overwhelming but the result will be greater pride in your efforts as a donor truly making a difference.

Focus on Your Passion

Why have you chosen to give to a certain organization? Your focus should be on your interests and concerns or those of your employees. For example, Epic Systems in Verona, WI has thousands of employees. Each year, employees put in the names of local nonprofits they support and would like Epic to support. Epic picks the top nonprofits through a voting mechanism within the company and then matches donations given by its employees to those nonprofits. While Epic isn’t focusing on a passion, it is relying on the philanthropic passion of its employees and supporting them and their causes.

How Do You Know Your Philanthropic Passion?

If you’re the owner of a small company, get to the root of what drives you to improve the world we live in. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What are my values?
  • What are the concerns I have in my community?
  • What motivates me to give to an organization – or not?

Then, consider your finances and view your wealth as a tool:

  • How can my philanthropy go beyond myself?
  • How can I create a financial plan each year in the budget that results in giving to my passion?

Lastly, it’s not all about giving money to charity. Volunteering/donating time and expertise is just as valuable as donating money for many nonprofits.

Consider what you love doing and find a nonprofit that you can donate your time to. Love sports? Be a volunteer coach. Love talking with people? Volunteer at a nursing home or hospital. Love kids? Consider being a Big Brother/Big Sister. The possibilities are endless!

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