Let’s all do good well

 Savvy Donors Define their Charity “Bulls-Eye”

There are likely many charities that focus their efforts on causes that matter to you.

Narrow the scope of your search before you compare individual charities. To do that, define your charity bulls-eye.

Define your charity bulls-eye by making two lists of criteria. The criteria are totally up to you.

  •  The first list of criteria shows things any charity must have before you will consider it further. For example, you might require the charity to apply more than 60% of its total spending to your top cause. If a charity applies 45% of spending to your top cause, it falls outside your charity bulls-eye.
  • The second list shows things a charity must NOT have if you are going to consider it further. For example, you might specify that a charity must not pay its highest paid employee more than 10% of its total spending. A charity that pays an employee 15% of its spending falls outside your charity bulls-eye.

Once you have your two lists, start checking charities against just one of your criteria. Any that fail that first check are removed from consideration.

Then check your now-smaller list against another criterion. And so on, until you have a group that meets all of your criteria. The speed comes from that fact that you immediately remove from further consideration any charity that either,

  • Lacks any criterion from your must have list or
  • Has any criterion from your must NOT have list.

Here’s a sample list of Must Haves:

  • Be a 501(c)(3) public charity
  • Have filed IRS Form 990 for 20 __ or later
  • Use     % or more of total spending for my top cause
  • Provide programs in my top geographic area(s)
  • Have a clearly defined mission and supporting goals
  • Have a clear plan for meeting its mission and goals
  • Program spending % must be between             % and    %
  • Reserve ratio must be between            and        .
  • Respond readily and openly to my requests for information
  • Have a working program to protect donor privacy

Here’s a sample list of Must NOT Haves:

  • Have recent negative publicity
  • Pay highest paid contractor > ____% of total spending
  • Pay highest paid employee > _____% of total spending
  • Sell or exchange donor information

We’ve attached free have/NOT have template for you (it includes the sample criteria shown above).

Savvy Donors define their charity “bulls-eye.”

Charity Bulls-Eye