Individual donations matter: More than 40 million households across the United States donate to charities, hoping to create a better world. Individuals are by far the largest source of support for charities and their work — providing more than 80% of the donated dollars. Individuals donate more than $250 billion to charities each year — together, we have a huge impact. Charities and the people they help depend on all of us.
It’s been a tough time for charities and those they help: Recent economic conditions have meant increased demand for the services of many charities, at a time when donations have been down. It’s never been more important to be serious about your giving.
Charities vary greatly: While many do strong work with the moneys entrusted to them, others lack focus or management and produce little impact. And some who seek donations are not even charities! Charities vary greatly.
People want charity performance information: More than 85% of donors want charity performance information (source: Money for Good report, Hope Consulting, May 2010).
Charity data can be overwhelming: Individual donors want to know more about the performance of charities, but they’re faced with an intimidating mountain of data. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. charities publish important information about their operations and finances in their annual IRS information returns, and that’s just a part of the mountain. It’s the rare person who has the training to dig into the mountain — or would even know where to start.
Individuals and families are pressed for time and energy: We’re all busy, making a living, living our lives. Few of us have had the time or energy to do solid research on even a few charities a year.
The SGO Response
Focusing on top-notch charities makes a difference: By wisely directing their donated dollars toward top-notch charities, individual donors boost the impact of their giving, raise the bar for all charities and enhance the public good.