You’ve recently received an inheritance that allows you to make a real difference in the world! Or so you thought. The giving experience can be extremely rewarding, but only if you have realistic expectations about what your money can achieve. Too often people expect to change the world with a single $20,000 donation, only to be disappointed.
What should you expect?
- Don’t expect your donation to change the status-quo. The big charities – those that you’ve heard about – bring in hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue per year. To these charities, your one-off $20,000 donation is a drop in the ocean. While they will certainly appreciate your money, it’s unlikely to significantly change what they do.
- Don’t expect that you will have control over how your money is used. You may have very strong ideas on what your money should be used for, but legally, any donation is a gift and cannot be conditional. If you want control, all you can do is give to a charity that you trust will spend your money wisely.
- Expect failure. Practice makes perfect. Giving is no different. To do it well takes skill and experience. Do your research, get a good sense for how your donation will be used, but understand that ‘making a difference’ is never a sure thing.
Gosh, this isn’t the inspiring ‘Give Now’ rhetoric we’re used to! It’s actually fairly depressing. But believe us, it’s much better to have realistic expectations than risk being disheartened by a disappointing giving experience.