Written by Arlene Cogen, CFP®

Everywhere you look, there is loss. People are dying from the pandemic. The loss of jobs and futures as were previously imagined may have disappeared. Education systems are collapsing. Food scarcity is rampant. Philanthropy plays a critical role during disasters. 1.5 million nonprofits are employing 14.4 million people. That equals 10 % of the workforce, according to Nonprofit Quarterly. For the nonprofits that provide safety nets in our community, the demand has never been higher. And the demand is expected to increase in the coming months.  Many generous and philanthropic clients are asking, “How do we effectively respond during this crisis?”

Here are five suggestions for practical and fulfilling philanthropy during the pandemic.

  1. Give more to the nonprofits you already support. These are the organization you know, like, and trust with your current charitable dollars. Your contribution may keep your favorite charity viable during, and after, the crisis. You already know how are they assisting the community; how can you help them during the pandemic? What do they need, now?
  2. Trust nonprofits. Now is the time to trust nonprofits. Consider not restricting your donation within their organization to where you think the money is most needed. They are doing the vital work, so let the nonprofit use the contribution for its highest and greatest need. If a gift you have already given is restricted, consider lifting the restriction. Unrestricted gifts allow the nonprofit the most flexibility during a crisis.
  3. Give locally. The best place to start is within your community. The demand for health care, food, and social services is at emergency levels. It’s good to know that organizations, like community foundations, are creating local funds to assist your community. The Oregon Community Foundation, where my family has a donor-advised fund, has raised over $13 million in relief efforts for the state. These contributions are coming from existing and new donors.
  4.  Broader concerns. Consider giving to well-known international organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO coordinates and leads the global effort supporting countries to detect, prevent, track, and respond to the pandemic. They also coordinate efforts to develop tests, vaccines, and treatments. Their efforts are critical to finding a resolution to the pandemic that benefits us all.
  5. Reflection. During a time of change, it is always helpful to reflect. Reflection provides a growth opportunity for giving. It is the basis for creating a comprehensive philanthropic plan. Reviewing where and how you give provides the backbone and history of your giving. That review is a vital part of reflection and the key to quantifying your charitable goals.

There are many ways to give, and these few suggestions will enhance your philanthropy.

If you would like to reflect on your giving, CLICK HERE to have Arlene send you: For your Giving Reflection Guide. This guide is essential to detail your past giving patterns of causes near and dear to your heart. As you quantify your giving, you will clearly identify where and how you spend your time and money. Identify the core reason for giving and your actions become more meaningful than ever.

Finally, thank you; for your generosity and kindness in support of those who need help in these difficult times.


by Arlene Cogen, CFP®

Arlene is a motivational and inspirational speaker on charitable giving and philanthropy. Her presentations provide a fresh and inspiring perspective on charitable giving. Arlene graciously acknowledges attendees for their impact on your organization. She motivates and engages attendees to make a charitable gift they never imagined. Her approachable manner and extensive experience provide for an energized event.

Arlene is the bestselling author of GIVE TO LIVE: Make A Charitable Gift You Never Imagined.  In plain language, Arlene Cogen educates readers on charitable giving during life, and through their estate plan. She breaks giving down into bite-sized, understandable pieces. Poignant real-life stories show how to solve family and financial issues with a charitable twist. Through personal reflection prompts, readers begin to create their philanthropic plan. www.Arlenecogen.com

Connect with Arlene here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/arlenecogen/


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