Pad of Paper and pen

As the year comes to a close, it is time to consider how we show our generosity, so we can allocate our resources deliberately and effectively.

There is still time to give those charitable gifts for 2013! And there are countless worthy causes to choose from.  So the question is: do the charities you select fulfill the purpose behind your contribution?

While you are in the “holiday spirit,” you might want to survey a recent Forbes article titled What Kind Of Philanthropist Are You? A How-To For Aligning Your Giving With Your Personal Values.”

While the original article speaks for itself, consider the following guiding questions when it comes to your own giving:

Do you want to invest in direct services that provide access to goods and services to those that need it? Or invest in reinventing existing patterns of resource creation, access, and distribution? Or help initiatives that are enabling new ways of thinking about social issues?

Is empathy a key driver of the initiative? In a world where there is an increasing rate of change, charities and businesses alike are being faced with the difficulty of following rules that will constantly become outdated. Does the initiative consider the needs, perspectives, and dignity of the community it’s engaging?

Is the organization incorporating systems for evaluating impact and integrating community engagement and feedback? Is it adapting to the evolving needs of the community, as well as to failures and successes?

Is the initiative you are considering aiming to scale operations or to scale impact?

Technically, there is time left to give, at least until the ball drops in Times Square. Before you cut that check, hand over that cash or make that online transfer, take time to consider the “why” behind your generosity.

Reference: Forbes (December 3, 2013) What Kind Of Philanthropist Are You? A How-To For Aligning Your Giving With Your Personal Values

For more information on charitable giving and estate planning, please visit my estate planning website.

Mr. Amoruso concentrates his practice on Elder Law, Comprehensive Estate Planning, Asset Preservation, Estate Administration and Guardianship.