Why I’m accelerating my giving plan
How Organizations are faring
It’s no surprise that organizations are struggling to make budget with cancelled events, scarce government and foundation funding, and the inability to meet with donors face to face.
On top of that, an increased need for social services, technical needs of transitioning their workforce to work-from-home (does everyone have a laptop, strong wifi, and video conferencing know-how?) and allowing for flexibility for the realities of working parents and other caregivers.
Numerous organizations have added Covid-related emergency funds for their staff and clientele, but the everyday work still has to continue. Immigration reform, environmental justice, and electoral organizing are still desperately needed. Domestic violence is at an alltime high, and abortion access is being treated as a “non-essential treatment” in some states.
Organizing may look different today, but there’s still important work that needs to be done.
How my family is faring
As far as how pandemic has changed our everyday lives, it hasn’t been as hard for us as it has on others. I have been working from home for the past two years, and so just had to come up with plans b/c/d for various conferences and in-person events I had on the calendar. My partner has easily transitioned his job to work full-time from home — a nice change from his usual 25–50% work travel in Asia!
We give out of both earned income and inherited funds, which both feel rather steady right now. No, we don’t know if the stock market is going to have another big drop, or what will happen longterm with the economy. But I do know that we are fine right now, and are still making more money than we need, and are many years from retirement. We can ignore the ups and downs of those accounts (easier said than done sometimes!), and just think about what we have and need right now. And there is more than enough.
As people who sit comfortably in the top 15% of wealth and income in the US, it’s not surprising to see that, though overall the US economy will struggle, we will not.
Before all of this, the timing of my gifts has frankly been based on:
- when I gave to the organization last year,
- what my cash flow situation currently looks like, and
- specific timing requests from the organizations themselves (a big event, a fiscal year deadline, etc.)
And even with that, I end up doing a large portion of the giving in the last quarter of the year.
But not this year. This year we’ve accelerated things.
This month, we are committing to making all our planned annual gifts to organizations. Monthly donations will continue as planned.
As my business has a less-than-regular income schedule, there may be more that we can do later in the year, and my partner and I will revisit things in October/November to see if there’s additional gifts that we can make.
What is possible for you to accelerate?
- Do you have large gifts planned for later in the year you could make now? Perhaps even making half your annual gift today, and then the rest later in the year.
- If you have a Donor Advised Fund or connected to a foundation, sign onto this letter to Congress, and start moving 10% or more out of these funds!
- Or maybe take on the #HalfMyDAF challenge to move a 50% or more out of your donor advised fund this year.
As a friend and former client would say, “What are you willing to risk?”