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The Gift of Giving and the Art of Caring

Wednesday, September 21, 2022 @ 12:09 AM

Posted by Ron Wilshire

rotary 9-20CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – Deciding to donate to a nonprofit or a charity can be challenging, looking at local and national charities and which ones to support.

“Before you donate to any charity, you should think of it as an investment,” said Elmer Hall at Clarion Rotary. “The other thing to consider is how are you going to get out of that investment? You may end up with 5,000 e-mails, pleas in the mail, or a garage full of stuff and there’s no way to get out of it.

“Some charities have fundraising organizations that take that first sale and then sell it to other organizations. The next thing you know you have a garage full of dreamcatchers.”

Hill was relaying some of his findings in a new book recently published on the subject of the Gift of Giving and the Art of Caring. Perpetual Innovation: Strategic Planning for Nonprofits and the Art of Impacting Giving by Dr. Elmer Hall and Robert Hinkelman was recently published and is available for sale on Amazon.com.

The two authors have published several academic studies, and the newest one tackles the world of nonprofits. Hill, a member of the Rotary Club of downtown Deland, Florida, and a business consultant, frequently visits meetings of the Clarion Rotary Club.

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According to the book review by Amazon.com, “charities need to be efficient and well organized to provide the best solutions to charitable causes. This book provides the charity with the things they need to be successful, quickly, including rapid planning tools, checklists, and a Nonprofit Self-Assessment that is utilized throughout the book.

“This book takes a complete approach to Nonprofits, from planning and organizing to the selection process for charity selection by donors and volunteers. It provides an overview of assessing larger charities/NGOs (Non-Government Organization) and develops a simple approach for the evaluation of smaller and local charities.

Two chapters look at donors and what they can do to evaluate large charities and similar reviews of small and local charities.

“If you don’t understand the donor’s point of view, then you’re never going to be able to do a good job of getting your charity well organized,” Hill said. “A non-profit organization should have high visibility and if nobody knows you they will have no reason to give.”

Research into national charities is possible through the use of websites such as charitynavigator.org and ratings on the organizations. A charity navigator looks at the history of the nonprofit, how much it raises per year, how much is spent on administration, and the number of funds that go directly to programs.

Clarion Rotarians identified the following local charities: American Red Cross, animal rescues/humane societies, charitable deeds, churches, Clarion Area Agency on Aging, Clarion Bible Fellowship, Clarion Cemetery, Clarion Forest VNA, Clarion Free Library, Clarion Volunteer Fire Department, Clarion County YMCA, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Community Action, Destination Downtown Clarion, food banks, Historical Societies, Knights of Columbus, Medical-related, Mrs. Claus of Knox, Next Step, Pennies from Heaven, Sunshine Project, Toys for Tots, Clarion County United Way, and Visiting Nurses.

Just like national organizations, local nonprofits are required to provide financial records to the public.

Hill also offered the following bullet points regarding non-profits:

• Nonprofits have a huge impact on the economy, about 6 percent of the US GDP.

• More than 10% of the U.S. private workforce plus lots of volunteer productivity goes unmeasured.

• If nonprofits were a state, they’d be about the size of Florida.

• They help to provide vital services that COM and GOV don’t do or don’t do well

Givewell.org looks at the impact and the cost to save a life

Rotary International addresses big issues such as polio, water, hunger, etc. Rotary International also administers grants provided by partner Rotary Clubs in different countries. Local Rotary clubs support local charities, raising money, volunteering, and emergency support. All Rotarians support global projects.

Rotary International is one of the highest-rated “pure” charities.


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