So, you know which issues you care about and you’re ready to give–but what kind of effect do you want your money to have? This is exactly the question we tackled in our second session of CommonWealth Wednesday night. Uma Rao from Pride Foundation facilitated a session on the huge role individual donors play in supporting nonprofits.
In the session, we talked a lot about the “Charity vs. Change” framework. What’s the difference between the two? Charity giving involves addressing immediate needs–think providing meals for homeless youth–while change giving addresses root and structural causes of bigger issues–think advocacy efforts to strengthen funding for social services for at-risk teens. Is there one right way to give? Not at all. Our CommonWealth group considered the benefits of both:
The benefit of charity giving is the ability to see the tangible results of your gift–research shows, however, that change giving may be the better “investment” in the long run. A study by the National Committee for Responsible Philanthropy showed that every dollar invested in policy advocacy, civic engagement and community organizing provided a $115 return in community benefit!
So, where does your money go?