Letter: Give, but give wisely

A relative posts a birthday fundraiser on Facebook. Your alma mater solicits donations to renovate its stadium. A teen at your church requests support for an upcoming mission trip. It can feel like you’re being asked to support worthy causes more often than ever before.

And Hoosiers are generous, giving nearly $3 billion to charity each year, according to a report by The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

But is your charitable giving having the impact you want? Simply responding to requests may feel good in the moment, but it isn’t the most effective approach. The ability to give strategically as part of a broader plan enables you to achieve a lasting impact from charitable giving.

According to a UBS Investor Watch survey, only 40 percent of respondents reported they were fully satisfied with the results of their giving. The survey found “checkbook philanthropy,” or giving without much foresight, is not as satisfying or impactful as making more deliberate gifts.

Respondents said that planning improved their confidence and satisfaction by almost 50 percent. Satisfaction increased when they donated their time as well.

Generations give differently. Baby boomers are more likely to support traditional institutions, like religious organizations or the arts. Millennials are more likely to support causes with practical outcomes, such as fighting diseases or kids’ programs. But across generations, adopting a planned approach increases satisfaction with giving.

I encourage you to consider a planned approach to giving back. Learn how you can move away from checkbook philanthropy and feel satisfied with the impact of your charitable giving.


Jon Ramey, UBS

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