Millennials are often drawn to jobs that allow them make an impact on their community through the work they do each day as well as the volunteer opportunities their employer offers throughout the year. Millennials are also more likely to give smaller amounts, more frequently and to multiple organizations.
Employees who are serious about giving need to have a strategy that is proactive, rather than reactive, says Gillian Howell, national philanthropy consultant and advisory executive at U.S. Trust. Here are four ways to increase the impact of your giving.
Find a cause that matches your values and interests
For philanthropy to be sustainable, it must be something that is meaningful for you, Howell says. Your values and passion should drive your giving. There is no one way to be a philanthropist, she says, so think about what matters to you and how you can make a difference.
Multiply your efforts
One way to increase the power of your giving is to invite friends and coworkers to join a giving circle. For instance, members could give $100 each and select a charity to donate their pooled contributions to. “This can have a much greater impact than a single donation,” Howell says.
Donating time is just as valuable
Don’t assume organizations are only interested in financial donations. Find an organization that matches your interests and offer to help them. Most nonprofit organizations will welcome extra help in marketing, finance and communications.
Make sure your donation is having an impact
It isn’t always easy to measure the impact of your donation. Reach out to the charity to find out how your donation was used , Howell suggest.For instance, if you donate to a local community group to support an after school program, find out how many children your donation supports.
“People think they have to give to headline causes but charities need help with operations, too,” she says. Rather than donating to an actual program, consider making a donation that helps the organization build its infrastructure, she says.