Myths about philanthropy can tend to steer some people away from charitable giving. However, as with any industry or charitable endeavor, it is important to understand how to overcome such unsupported “evidence.”
Myth #1: You Cannot Make a Real Difference Unless You Begin Your Own Charity
One of the most effective ways to make a real difference is by working with other like-minded individuals. However, there are plenty of ways to do so by partnering with an already-established nonprofit. This can help build or expand an existing organization’s capacity and reach its goals. If you still desire to begin your own nonprofit, it’s essential to make sure that you have the necessary paperwork and resources. This is an admirable endeavor. However, don’t believe the lie that you cannot make just as big of a difference by donating to or volunteering with other nonprofits.
Myth #2: Nonprofits Already Bring in Enough Donations
In the US, most nonprofit organizations are small, grassroots organizations that have annual budgets of around $1 million at the most. The median monthly gift that people give to a nonprofit organization is approximately $23. In addition to regular program revenue, donations from individuals also help keep the organization’s budget balanced. The important thing to note is that your donation matters and nonprofits are in need of support now more than ever before.
Myth #3: Money Should Not Be Spent on Fundraising
While it’s crucial to maintain a steady budget for programs and direct services, it’s also important to consider other activities such as fundraising. Unfortunately, there is a common misconception that effective organizations should limit their spending on these types of activities.
Without the proper resources and programs to support its operations, a nonprofit can’t grow and become more effective. Many donors look for organizations that are efficient and effective at raising funds. Therefore, it is often beneficial to dedicate some income towards ongoing fundraising efforts in order to keep this pattern of giving alive.
Myth #4: Nonprofits Should Avoid Politics
For various causes, such as education policy and environmental conservation, nonprofit organizations should be involved in lobbying. This strategy can help them advocate for their goals and influence policymakers. Because many of the issues that nonprofits are trying to solve are inherently political, it would be irresponsible not to get involved in politics.