There can be a lot of misconceptions about charitable giving.  Whether you are a business or an individual, you may have questions about how to donate, what to donate and why.

Misconceptions of charitable giving can lead to confusion and doubt, and ultimately a lack of action from the donor. This means that worthy charitable organizations are missing out on your gifts.  If you’re considering giving to charity in some sort of fashion, read this list.

Misconceptions of Charitable Giving
“All charities are government funded.”

It is a common misconception that most charity organizations rely heavily on government funding. A study published by Statistics Canada shows the sources of revenue for the core nonprofit sector for government funding at only 20.9%.  There have been significant cutbacks since that study was published. The rest of the almost 80% come from sales of goods and services, membership fees, donations and investment income.

Data provided by Statistics Canada’s Satellite Account of Non-profit Institutions and Volunteering, 2009000. 

“Low overhead is a sign of a great charity.”

Somewhere along the line it became ‘best practice’ that you should only give to charities with an overhead cost of an estimated 13% or less.  You do want to see organizations being fiscally responsible, however, charities are businesses too and sometimes they need a bigger operating budget to build up the infrastructure required to further carry out the organization’s mission. It’s important to look at the operating cost in context with the bigger picture and vision of the organization.

“Charities will accept anything.”

Although charities welcome unsolicited donations, it’s a common misconception that charities will take just about anything. There are charities that won’t accept financial donations if there is a conflict of interest with the donor (corporate or individual donors). If you’re thinking of giving an in- kind donation (artwork, used furniture etc), just be sure that what you’re giving adds value to the organization. 

“Charities have nothing to offer your business.”

There are many that perceive giving to charity as a one-way street, but that is simply not true. Giving to an organization can have many benefits, including recognition and exposure to people outside of your network. There may also be benefits to your staff.  If your company is looking to provide pro-bono work to an organization, employees may be given the opportunity to practice some leadership skills that may not happen within the company.

“My giving amount needs to be large in order to make a difference.”

If you’re considering giving a financial gift to an organization, you may be wondering if there is an appropriate amount to give. It’s true that the larger the gift amount, the more potential there is to make an impact for the organization. However, don’t let that stop you from giving.  Not every gift needs to be celebrated with a press release and an oversized cheque. If this is your donation to an organization, the charity will welcome the gift and the opportunity to build a new relationship.  Remember – every dollar counts!

Want to give back to organizations “doing good” in your community?  

Connect with us at HeartPress PR to help strategize your philanthropic plans.