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Combining Passion and Purpose: Steps to Effective Charitable Giving Thumbnail

Combining Passion and Purpose: Steps to Effective Charitable Giving

Jonathan M. Gardey, MBA, CFA®, CFP®

President and Chief Executive Officer

In a world comprised of multiple communities, we are all a part of something bigger, whether we choose to be or not. The real choice we make is not about what we do in life; it’s about how and why we decide to do anything. Everything we do, intentionally or not, impacts society to some degree. The difference is whether we choose to do so deliberately in a way that can better it. 

 Who among us doesn’t seek purpose in our lives—something beyond our material needs? Living for a higher purpose is a reason to get up in the morning to contribute to the world in a way that derives immense satisfaction. It’s where we find our passion and the legacy we leave behind. When we have something more significant that drives us, life is better, more exciting, and much more gratifying. 

Combining passion and purpose in charitable giving can lead to a more fulfilling and impactful philanthropic experience. Here are steps you can take to ensure your charitable giving aligns with both your personal passions and a greater sense of purpose:


If you haven’t already, you need to identify your passions—those causes or issues that resonate with you on a personal level. You want to find and fund what you love, so take some time to reflect on your values, interests, and areas where you feel a strong emotional connection.

Define Your Purpose

What do you hope to achieve through your charitable giving? Clarify your philanthropic goals by defining the impact you want to make and the positive change you wish to contribute to the world. 

Research and Educate Yourself

Explore different causes and learn about the issues. Investigate a variety of charitable organizations and causes related to your passions and purpose. If education is your passion, check out local reading programs. If you’re driven by hunger issues, explore food distribution sites. 

When you understand the issues, it’s essential to develop and refine your intellectual curiosity about the organizations addressing them and their approaches to creating positive change. 

Assess Organizational Effectiveness

As part of your investigation of charitable organizations, evaluating them for their efficiency and effectiveness is vital. Examine their track records, financial transparency, and their impact in their respective fields. 

Set Realistic Goals

Setting goals for your philanthropy is critical if you want to stretch your passion and purpose as far as possible. Establish measurable objectives—defining specific, realistic, and achievable goals for your charitable giving. Setting clear and definitive benchmarks will help you track and assess the impact of your contributions. 

Create a Budget

For your charitable giving to stoke your passion, it must align with your overall financial plan. It’s essential to allocate your funds wisely by determining how much you can comfortably and realistically give to your chosen causes. 

Diversify Your Giving

One option is to consider supporting multiple causes, allowing you to address broader issues by spreading your contributions across different organizations and causes that align with your passions. 

Think about establishing a donor-advised fund, enabling you to donate your allocated funds while waiting to determine which charities you want to benefit. 

Build Relationships

Connect with the charities you support by establishing relationships inside the organization. Regular communications with those involved with the organization can help you stay informed about their work and better understand the impact of your contributions. 

Become Personally Engaged

In addition to financial contributions, consider donating your time and skills to organizations. You could become a board member or help with back-office duties. A more direct engagement with an organization can deepen your connection to the cause and provide valuable insights. 

Stay Informed and Adapt

Keep up with social, economic, and political developments that may impact the causes you care about. By staying informed, you can adapt your giving strategy based on evolving needs and circumstances to ensure it has the desired impact. 

Practicing effective philanthropy is an ongoing process of learning, adapting, and making a positive difference in the world. Combining your passion with a well-defined purpose and following these steps can make your charitable giving more intentional and impactful. 

Ready to Make a Difference?

Practicing effective philanthropy is more than just a generous act; it's a journey of combining your deepest passions with a purpose that transcends personal gain. By following the steps outlined above – from self-reflection and defining your purpose to diversifying your giving and becoming personally engaged – your charitable efforts can become a powerful force for good. Remember, it's not just about financial contributions; it's about making a meaningful impact that aligns with your values and leaves a lasting legacy.

If you're inspired to take your charitable giving to the next level but aren't sure where to start, we're here to help. At Gardey Financial Advisors, it’s all about you. We understand the nuances of effective philanthropy and can guide you in aligning your personal values with impactful giving strategies. Whether you need assistance in identifying the right causes, setting up a donor-advised fund, or integrating philanthropy into your broader financial plan, our team is equipped to support your journey. For more information about the comprehensive planning services we provide, we encourage you to visit our site, learn more about our services, and see if we could be a good match. We best serve clients looking for exceptional client service, who value a long-term partnership, and have a minimum of $500,000 in investable assets.

Contact us to start making a meaningful difference in the world, in a way that resonates with your personal mission. Let's turn your passion into purposeful giving.

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