Amer­i­cans tend to be very char­i­ta­ble. His­tor­i­cal­ly, char­i­ta­ble giv­ing as a per­cent­age of GDP has con­sis­tent­ly hov­ered around 2%. In 2017, this amount­ed to more than $400 bil­lion, accord­ing to Giv­ing USA. Yet, most of us don’t real­ly under­stand the impact that our dona­tions have on the caus­es we choose to sup­port. After the check is writ­ten, where does the mon­ey go?

Strate­gic phil­an­thropy is a way to give more effec­tive­ly. It is often embraced by those who are in a finan­cial posi­tion or state of mind to leave a lega­cy of char­i­ta­ble giv­ing, who also wish to mea­sure the impact of their gifts. How­ev­er, any­one that reg­u­lar­ly writes checks to their favorite orga­ni­za­tions and caus­es can devel­op a more strate­gic approach to giving.

Although strate­gic phil­an­thropy requires time and dis­ci­pline, those who prac­tice it often achieve more mean­ing­ful results. Whether your gifts are moti­vat­ed by finan­cial rea­sons or pure gen­eros­i­ty, the fol­low­ing steps can help you devel­op a process to be more strate­gic and effec­tive about giving.

Determine a Cause<