Six ways to make your donations accomplish more

Donor stories Effective Philanthropy

We’d all like to help the causes we care about to make an even bigger difference in the world. Here are some ideas to make your donations accomplish even more.

We’d all like to help the causes we care about to make an even bigger difference in the world. Here are some ideas to make your donations accomplish even more. 

1. Offer unrestricted support

It can be challenging for charities and non-profits to raise money for unglamorous but essential needs such as office space, equipment, storage, vehicles, or renting event space. But those things are often essential to the work the charity does. If you can give unrestricted funding, meaning the charity gets to choose where they spend your donation, you will enable charities to do these important tasks. It’s also empowering them to make the right decisions for their organisations, as they know best.

Unrestricted support - The Gift Trust

2. Commit for a number of years

One of the best things you can do with your funding is commit it over a number of years, as this allows charities to plan ahead with some security. Consistent funding streams make planning much easier and allow the charities to focus more on the important work they need to do, rather than constantly seeking new funding sources. It will also allow you to develop a relationship with the organisation you support over time, creating opportunities for learning, volunteering, and championing their cause.

Commit - The Gift Trust

3. Build the capacity of your favourite charity

Providing funding that will allow the staff, volunteers or board of your favourite cause to learn new skills and grow, can be a game-changer for many organisations. This support is often difficult to find, and by funding training in management, fundraising, marketing or strategic planning, you are building the capacity for the organisation to achieve more in the future.

Building capacity - The Gift Trust

4. Speak out for the causes you are passionate about

Shine a spotlight on the organisations and issues you care about. Increasing the visibility of your groups and causes attracts additional donors and funding, engages partners, and educates your community about the important role of non-profits. Ways to speak out include:

Speak out - The Gift Trust

  • Telling family, friends, and colleagues about the organisations and causes you support and inviting them to attend events and visit with you.

  • Introducing other donors to an organisation’s board and staff.

  • Writing letters to the local newspaper or magazine editor about your organisations and causes.

  • Blogging and tweeting about your groups’ accomplishments and about an important problem in the community that is being overlooked

  • Writing to your elected representatives about the cause or the issues they address.

5. Volunteer your time and skills

Offering your time to favourite organisations is a great way to contribute and also learn more about gaps and needs in the causes you care about. Take stock of your skills and experience and talk with the organisation to find out what kind of help it might need. 

Volunteer - The Gift Trust

6. Claim your donation tax rebate from the IRD – and donate it back!

This is an easily overlooked step that would allow you to give up to 50% more to the charities you care about, at no extra cost to you. Many New Zealanders don’t bother claiming back the donation tax rebates they are eligible for from the IRD. If you do claim it and then gift it back to the organisations you support, you could be giving up to 50% more to the causes you care about, without giving a single cent more! Read more here:



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