Step 3: Create a Comprehensive Plan for Your Philanthropy

Congratulations! You understand what those causes are that interest you most. How do you put your passion into action? Create a comprehensive plan that is reflective of those core values and interests that drive you. How? Begin by asking yourself such questions as:

  1. Do your giving habits today truly reflect your interests or those issues you care most about?
  2. Do you give based more on your emotions or do you tend to be pragmatic and give based on rationality?
  3. How does your spouse, partner or significant other give? Do you tend to make decisions on giving together or support causes that appeal to each of you independently?
  4. Are there opportunities to combine your giving interests to make a bigger impact through estate planning?

There are Many Reasons Why We Give:

  • You received services from the organization, such as your alma mater, local hospital, or humane society, and want to "pay it forward".
  • You know someone who was helped or received services from the organization.
  • You are a volunteer, employee, or member of the board for the organization.
  • Your business or employer supports the organization.
  • Your peers give to the organization.
  • You learned about the organization from the media, on social media or through the mail.

Understand Your Giving Habits by Understanding Your Giving History

Use the Giving History Worksheet [PDF] to write down all the gifts you have made over the past five years and note the purpose of each gift and reason for giving. On your worksheet note whether your gift was made in response to an ask; a fulfillment of an obligation (for example you were a recipient of a scholarship and want to pay it forward); in recognition of a family member or friend; or out of passion for the mission of the organization.

BackNext: Step 4