It is quite possible that you just do not have the time to help an organization by physically participating in a volunteer event, yet you still want to help. Monetary or in-kind donations are another way individuals and companies can become involved.
Non-profit organizations are always in need of monetary donations to purchase goods, pay bills and help support their cause. Investing in the work of charities can assure progress is made in advancing the causes you believe in.
If there’s no room in your budget for monetary donations, consider making an in-kind donation. Maybe you’re good at event planning, graphic design or sewing. Offer up your pro bono services to the non-profit organization of your choice—donations of goods and services are extremely valuable.
How To Evaluate A Non-Profit Organization
The following watchdog groups have a number of suggestions on how to research non-profit groups in order to make an informed decision about giving and volunteering. Each of these groups also publishes ratings for selected major non-profit agencies in the US They all have their own rating standards, which they publish on their websites.
- American Institute of Philanthropy
- BBB Wise Giving Alliance
- Charity Navigator
- GuideStar (This database is also useful for learning more about non-profit organizations as it contains many non-profit listings throughout the U.S. with address, contact and financial information, including the 990 tax form.)
Guides for Individual Donors
Donors Forum of Chicago has compiled a list of links to publications, both print and online, which discuss the essential elements of informed giving. These include their Giving in Illinois update with the latest figures on the state of giving in Illinois, and Philanthropy in Illinois, which includes information about Illinois foundations, non-profits and giving in Illinois statistics.
Family Foundations includes resources on how to start your own family foundation.
The DuPage Foundation is a grant making foundation that was created in 1986 to benefit the people of DuPage County. It receives contributions and bequests into a permanent endowment, and the earnings from this endowment are used to address community needs.