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Solve. Today and forever.

Tips and Common Mistakes

6 Giving Tips

  1. Your beneficiary plans take legal precedent over your will. Make sure they match your intentions.
  2. Involve your family by starting multiple funds, or naming your children (or grandchildren) advisors to your fund. 
  3. Set up a fund—and remain anonymous so you can avoid fundraising letters from charities.
  4. Many companies have matching-gift programs or donate to nonprofits employees recommend. Ask your employer!
  5. Learn about problems and solutions in New York—attend The Trust’s donor briefings.
  6. If you already have a donor-advised fund, consider a bequest, so your money keeps helping others—forever.

4 Common Mistakes

  1. Forgetting your will: Did you know that 55 percent of U.S. adults do not have a will? If you don’t have one in New York, all assets go to your closest relatives. So, yours could end up with Cousin Ernie instead of supporting a cause you’re passionate about. 
  2. Getting the name wrong: Do you know the difference between Make-a-Wish Foundation, Children’s Wish Foundation International, and Kids Wish Network? Some fraudulent charities take advantage of similar names. Make sure your gift goes to a bona fide charity that represents your vision for a better New York.
  3. Choosing a charity based on administrative costs alone: We all want to keep overhead costs low, but nonprofits often fail because administrative budgets don't fully cover the costs. Look at the nonprofit’s effectiveness and speak to experts. Call a community foundation, such as The New York Community Trust. Ask how your money can make a real difference in addressing problems.
  4. Doing this on your own: Giving to charity should feel great, not cause stress. Talk to The Trust’s staff, who can help you identify groups solving pressing problems. We offer as much—or as little—help as you want.

    Sources: New York Community Trust; Charity Navigator

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