Amit Raizada's Tips for Year-End Giving
December 28, 2020
It’s been decades since we’ve seen a year as turbulent and as trying as 2020. Defined by a pandemic of unprecedented scale and peppered with protests and riots, historic natural disasters, deep economic hardships and a contentious election, these past 12 months have placed untold pressures on communities across the country.
Even with a vaccine on the horizon, millions remain unemployed or without gainful employment this holiday season. Municipal and state governments are struggling to make ends meet, with the exigencies of the moment eating away at social services.
Through all of this, nonprofit organizations have been our superheroes. They’ve worked on the frontlines of each and every one of these crises—from procuring PPE for medical workers to providing financial relief to essential workers and their families, offering services to low-income communities, providing emergency aid to those impacted by wildfires and hurricanes, and even registering folks to vote who typically stay at home—nonprofits have been driving positive, impactful change at each and every juncture of this windy year of struggle.
It is critical that we—as philanthropists and citizens—work to support these organizations as we enter the new year. While times are tough for many Americans, December is usually a windfall for nonprofit organizations. It is the month in which they procure more than 30 percent of their annual fundraising revenue. In fact, the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day usually accounts for about 12 percent of nonprofits’ annual revenues.
Despite the positive change nonprofits have continued to drive through COVID, the pandemic has negatively impacted more than 90 percent of our nation’s nonprofits, according to the Charities Aid Foundation of America.
Nonprofits are counting on us this month. We need to answer the call.
As the Chairman of the Amit Raizada Foundation, I know that this is often easier said than done. For many philanthropic administrators, December is spent sifting through requests for funding, looking to make the biggest impact with the limited means at your disposal.
Here are a few tips that I have found useful when it comes to fulfilling nonprofit funding requests.
First, I recommend you create a plan for your philanthropic giving that includes a budget and a list of specific issue areas in which you want to make an impact. These could be, using 2020 as an example, services for frontline workers, education providers in low-income communities or local food banks.
Next, you should do some vetting. Research the organization that you wish to support and get a sense of the ways they operate, the services they provide, and the impact that they have already created.
Donors, then, should look for ways to be adaptable. The world can turn on a dime, and nonprofits need the flexibility to meet the challenges of the moment. Philanthropists giving to nonprofits a year ago, for example, had no idea that 2020 would be defined by a pandemic. By staying flexible, donors can help organizations pivot under exigent circumstances like COVID-19.
In this deep recession, look for ways, too, to stay local. Can you give to local organizations making a difference in your backyard? Maybe those working to support small businesses or families struggling with food insecurity. Look for ways to step up for your community. Finally, I urge philanthropists to give generously. As I wrote at the beginning of this piece—it’s been decades, perhaps not since the 1930s, that we’ve lived through such a troubling year for the average American family. Vaccines are on the way, yes, but 2021 will not be a normal year by any stretch of the imagination. As philanthropists, this is where we make
Amit Raizada is a forward-thinking entrepreneur and investor whose mastery of investment and growth strategies has helped launch and grow countless successful business ventures across the globe. In 2002, Raizada founded Spectrum Business Ventures which today consists of more than 80 operating companies spanning multiple industries including technology, entertainment, real estate, financial services, hospitality, retail, eSports, fashion and others. Raizada is a lifelong philanthropist with a devout passion for giving back to the community, and in 2017 cofounded Vision Global Foundation, which supports charitable causes around the globe that focus on children and families in need. For more information about Amit Raizada please visit his bio page.