It’s the season of giving. The malls are packed with holiday shoppers in search of the perfect gift. Children are writing to Santa with wish lists of toys. Nonprofits are making final appeals for philanthropic support for the tax-year. Giving and getting is on everyone’s minds—including mine. This is why this month’s Giving Corner has a few ideas for last minute giving.
If you are still looking for gifts for your loved ones AND want to make an impact, consider a gift that gives back. Forbes’ Gift Guide is a great tool for finding unique gifts that give back. Consider your recipients passions and interests and give them a gift that supports a cause they care for. My mother, who showed me how to be strong, smart, and bold woman, will be receiving a set of bamboo bowls made by women in Kenya from the Village Experience in Broad Ripple. Instead of finding a similar item at a large retail store, I know my gift giving will be enjoyed by my mom, a local retailer, and the women in communities in the developing world.
For many charities, December is the largest fundraising month of the year. In fact a recent study by Network for Good found that a third of online donations are made in December and 22% are made the last two days of the year. With so many donors rushing to make last minute contributions in the tax-year, it’s important to do your homework on the nonprofits you’d like to invest in. For that reason, the Wall Street Journal released a list of 10 financial mistakes people make when supporting a charity.
Financially, Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis is a good investment. We have been serving girls in the greater Indianapolis area since 1969, and still provide innovative, sustainable, and relevant programs to girls. We have increased the number of girls we are serving while reducing the cost of providing each of our programs. In 2008, the cost to deliver one hour of programming to one girl was approximately $235. By the end of 2009, that number was less than $40 per hour, a decrease of 83%. Furthermore, approximately 70 cents of every dollar given to Girls Inc. goes directly to the girls. Your support is used to train and support volunteers, provide program supplies and staff transportation to and from programs, support staff salaries and benefits, and more. See what Girls Inc. was able to do in 2010 with the support of our funders.
Don’t forget to support Girls Inc. before the calendar year ends on December 31.