Moving from Reactive to Strategic Philanthropy

By Debra Shapira | Jan 19, 2023 |

Whether you’re new to Brighton Jones or have been part of our community for years, chances are you’ve heard us talk about the benefits of donor-advised funds (DAFs). This tax-advantageous and flexible tool allows you to receive an immediate tax deduction for contributed assets and then recommend grants to your favorite non-profit organizations on your schedule.

So, the assets are in my DAF; how do I decide where to give?

What, Where & How – Aligning your giving with your values, passions, and purpose

Strategic philanthropy moves you from reactive (giving because someone in your community asks you) to intentional (giving based on your passions and understanding the needs and solutions).

Ask these few simple questions to narrow down the list of causes you will address with your donations and to align your giving with your values and passions:

  1. What causes am I most passionate about right now – what do I talk about over meals with loved ones or click on first when I’m reading the news?
    There’s no wrong answer here; the correct answer is the one that gets you the most excited to take action. 
  2. Where do I want to focus my giving – is this a cause I want to support in my neighborhood, my state, across the region, nationally, or internationally?
    There’s work to do everywhere, so choose a geography that you’re connected to, either physically or emotionally, to make your giving the most meaningful for you. 
  3. How do I want to affect this cause – do I want to support direct service that alleviates a problem that’s happening right now or tackle systems or policy change to address what will happen in the future?
    There is an array of approaches that are all important, and different strategies suit different issues, so think (or talk to peers and community members) about what could be most effective for your cause and your geography.

Answering these questions will help you build a portfolio of impactful organizations you’re motivated and excited to support with your resources and perhaps even your time.

Do you need support finding non-profit organizations that fit your What, Where & How? Reach out to your Brighton Jones team to discuss building your strategic giving plan!

Let’s talk

Whether you have a specific question, or you’re interested in learning more about how our approach can be tailored to your situation, we’d love to hear from you.