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Finding A Focus In Charitable Giving

Many people often struggle with the decision of where to give. With so many charities and not-for-profit organizations, it can be hard to choose.

Start with defining the values that are most important to you. When contributing as a family, discover the common values that you share.

What values are most important to your family? Examples include:

  • Equality
  • Dignity
  • Responsibility
  • Teamwork
  • Opportunity
  • Compassion
  • Knowledge
  • Community involvement
  • Tolerance
  • Legacy
  • Respect
  • Preservation
  • Justice
  • Innovation
  • Heritage
  • Faith
  • Leadership
  • Independence
  • Support

From this list, what are your top three to five values?

Next, consider what social issues/groups you most want to help.

What social issues/populations do you most want to help? Examples include:

  • Education
  • Poverty
  • Children and Youth
  • Anti-Racism
  • Civil Rights
  • Cultural Heritage
  • Seniors
  • Environment
  • Disease treatment and prevention
  • Healthcare
  • Human Rights
  • Immigrants
  • Disabled
  • Art
  • Animals
  • Military
  • Disaster Relief
  • Family support services

From this list, what top three issues/populations are your highest priorities to assist?

Based on these values and priorities, you may wish to approach your community foundation or find non-profit organizations supporting these causes and uphold these values. You may also wish to refer to the organizations and resources below to find an appropriate charity on your own.


Adapted from Inspired Philanthropy (Second Edition) by Tracy Gary & Melissa Kohner