Developing a Strategy for Your End of the Year Donations


It’s the end of the year “Giving Season,” and by this time your mailboxes and inboxes are probably already overflowing with colorful envelopes of various sizes imploring you to open your wallets and donate to worthy causes.  But, how do you determine where to give so that your money goes the furthest and provides the most value? There are many strategies and services that can guide you in the right direction.

First, clarify your beliefs and  preferences:

  • Do this before you open your checkbook, volunteer your time, or look at that letter from a charity.
  • Think about what matters most to you. The environment? Education? Hunger? Animal welfare? Helping sick children? Economic development?
  • Think about where you want to make an impact. In your neighborhood? Region? The nation? Internationally?
  • Ask yourself if you want to support a large or small charity, a new or an old one.

Next, search for charities at GuideStar, which contains records from 1.8 million nonprofits registered with the Internal Revenue Service. (Air Alliance Houston’s GuideStar can be found here.)

Ask yourself: Does this organization’s mission align with my vision? (Air Alliance Houston’s mission can be found here.)

If you compare charities, be sure you compare apples to apples. Compare charities that do the same kind of work, especially if you’re looking at their finances. The type of work a charity does can affect its operating costs dramatically.

Avoid charities that won’t share information or pressure you. Reputable nonprofits will discuss their programs and finances, don’t use pressure tactics, are willing to send you literature about their work or direct you to a web site, and will take “no” for an answer.

If you want your money to support a growing public health and environmental organization with a solid professional reputation, we invite you to donate to Air Alliance Houston now.

Air Alliance Houston is a nonprofit organization that believes the quality of our air directly affects our quality of life.  If you share our vision for Clean Air and a Healthy Future, please donate now.