Tag Archives: donate

How to protect your charitable donation


Whether it boldly hits national news or barely hits the local press, stories of improper use of donated funds is never good. Non-profit or “community-benefit” organizations exist to meet community needs while, at the same time, enhance quality of life.  Unfortunately, these situations continue to occur and these stories circulate throughout the media.

So, how can donors prevent their funds from being improperly used or allocated?

It’s simple…thorough knowledge of the organization you’re supporting should do the trick. This can be done through different avenues of organization understanding. The best possible way is by creating a direct relationship with the organization by calling, volunteering, and/or attending events.

If developing a personal relationship isn’t an option, then check to see if the organization has been rated on its finances, management, or performance. A non-profit organization named Charity Navigator is a good resource as they rate select organizations (those with $500,000+ budgets) based on financial efficiencies.

NPcatalyst, also rates charities; but, scoring is taken steps further. The belief is that management and leadership are just as important as financial oversight. Through their HealthCheck tool, the company scores charitable organizations of all budget sizes, locations, and service areas on five areas:

  • Data & Efficiency
  • Finance & Fund Development
  • Governance
  • Human Resources
  • Public Information

Transparency is key. Scoring in multiple areas is to paint a clear picture of each organization’s best practices.

Regardless of which resource you use, your best bet is to have a strong understanding of the charity you’re about to support to ensure that your hard-earned donation will be put to the best possible, or your pre-determined, use.

For more information or to learn more about a particular organization contact NPcatalyst at 775-333-9444 or info@npcatalyst.com.

Radio show discussing community engagement


I was invited by Jeffrey Benjamin, owner of Breakthrough Training, to his radio show to share my tips and habits as they relate to community leadership. Jeff’s an amazing leadership coach, who finds considerable value in connecting leaders with opportunities. His show airs each at 9:30am each Sunday morning on 99.1FM talk radio (http://www.991fmtalk.com/).

A taped interview, I now invite you to listen to the six-minute show. It was originally aired in September 2010 and is timeless and applicable in any city…not just Reno, where it was taped. Here’s the link: http://soundcloud.com/breakthroughtraining/jeffrey-benjamin-speaks-with-pete-parker

Jeff and I had a great, albeit brief, conversation about community outreach and the value found through businesses, business leaders and local citizens…not to mention non-profit organizations and the communities they strive to improve.

We addressed the potential leadership shortage, which includes giving of both time and dollar, and the need to link people with community opportunities…now. One of my favorite quotes was the one where I linked personal excitement (like goosebumps) to contributing…a generator of tremendous satisfaction.

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, although we could have spoken for hours on community engagement. Sincerely thankful for the opportunity, I look forward to working with Jeff and leaders like him, who wish to develop stronger relations with the community and its benefit organizations.

If you’re interested in learning more about community engagement/giving opportunities, how to start the process, or wish to share your own ideas, do not hesitate to contact me (petep@npcatalyst.com; 775-333-9444).

Yours in Community!

Getting the most from personal and corporate giving

By Pete Parker

If you’ve read my blogs or consider me a friend or acquaintance, you quickly recognize that my passion lies within philanthropy…particularly building community strength. In a simple, single term, the word “giving” is central to the impact people can make within their communities (both locally and globally). And, while there are numerous definitions to this word, I personally view it as “growth”. Anyone, regardless of personal wealth, age, skill set, gender, physical condition, or cultural background, has the capacity to give time and/or dollar.

This particular blog addresses giving as it relates each of us as family and business leaders. The impact within the community is very similar, as are many of the benefits. The critical issue, quite frankly, are the many needs within our communities which need to be met…all driven at improving the quality of life of ourselves and our neighbors.

We can each give our time and/or financial resources for various reasons. Reasons can include:

  • Making a difference;
  • Greater community involvement;
  • Making new friends and connections;
  • Networking for business; creating leads;
  • Learn about community needs;
  • Generate corporate and community goodwill;
  • Set an example;
  • Follow the lead of those you admire;
  • Recruiting and retaining employees, staff leaders;
  • Support a personal passion;
  • Helping others;
  • Receive recognition;
  • Seeking greater reward.

The list goes on and on. Rarely do I hear that donations are made for tax purposes. Most significantly, it’s the care, compassion and kindness of others.

During my brief 20 years as a non-profit professional and community leader, I see and encourage giving on a regular basis. I am continually impressed by the kindness of others. My hope is that many more people and businesses within our communities get involved by playing greater roles as financial supporters and volunteers. Perhaps more importantly, is how the giving is done, so that donors…and the causes or organizations they support…receive the desired tangible and intangible benefits.

I enjoyed reading Carla E. Dearing’s blog “Beyond Giving”, where she feels “there are a number of potential donors who are waiting to be inspired or challenged to give. Donors and charities can work together to find creative, new approaches to communicating their work and motivate these would-be givers to become philanthropists in their own right.” I found that her words give hope for the organizations which immediately drive the quality of life in our communities.

I believe that businesses and individuals can influence the “greater good” by developing effective giving strategies to achieve their charitable, community-engaging and direct (personal/corporate) goals. And, while the process can be extremely simple or in-depth, costly or complimentary, wise and effective personal/corporate giving follows a strategy that aligns charitable giving activities with objectives, vision…and undoubtedly, impact.