November 30, 2023

Quick Tips for Planning End-of-Year Giving

Author John Canady, Chief Executive Officer

It is common for charitable giving to pick up during the end-of-year period traditionally known as Giving Season, and with the flurry of charitable activity we saw earlier this week on Giving Tuesday  (28th November 2023), many people are now considering their final acts of giving this year. US-connected donors might also be mindful of the year-end tax deadline.

Whether a donor is influenced by high-profile fundraising campaigns or motivated by a feeling of festive generosity, here are a few important questions to consider as Giving Season approaches.


1. What motivates a donor to give?

Many organisations look forward to Giving Season as a fundraising boon, but having to depend upon philanthropists—who are choosing a cause to support among the sea of causes all jostling for visibility and funds—can be especially stressful for small or local charities. Clients motivated by impact should consider starting their own Giving Season as early as possible. They should also be sure to consider how a gift to a small or local charity may have a far greater impact than the same gift to a much larger organisation.


2. Take time to vet the charity

While NPT (National Philanthropic Trust) UK conducts thorough due diligence for every grant recommendation, it is still always a sound idea for your clients to educate themselves about any charity they are thinking of supporting. How a charity uses its funds, how they measure impact, and their reputation in the philanthropic sector are just a few lines of inquiry your client may wish to follow before recommending a grant. With the inevitable increase in “charity scams” taking place every holiday season, this kind of due diligence is especially invaluable for your clients. If your client wants to donate to a particular charity for the first time, you may want to consider additional research into the charity’s credentials and how they use donated funds. For charities based in the UK, you can check their details with the Charity Commission for England and Wales, Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator or Charity Commission of Northern Ireland. You can also search for a charity’s annual report on their website to see how funds are used. Supporting international charities will require additional due diligence.


3. Consider alternative ways of giving

Grantmaking is just one way your client can achieve their philanthropic goals. Volunteering time, participating in campaigns, and encouraging others in their network to support causes they are passionate about are all effective practices your client can invest in to help build a better world. Especially as demand on charities’ services increase during the holiday season.


4. Engage friends and family in your philanthropy

Giving Season can be an excellent opportunity for donors to incorporate family—along with the unique perspectives that come with them—into their philanthropy. Equally, donating to a favourite organisation or cause in a family or friend’s name is a fantastic way to celebrate the upcoming festive season and honour a loved one.

5. Build the relationship

If your client tends to reserve their charitable giving for the final months of the year, they may want to consider the impact that year-round giving can have on their favourite charities and causes. While demand may feel most acute during Giving Season, assuredly, need also exists throughout the first ten months of the year. Donors can gain greater satisfaction from their giving if they maintain a relationship with the charity, allowing them to hear how their donation has been used, the impact it has had, and the impact further gifts could have in the future. Charities are becoming increasingly sophisticated in this level of personal stewardship as it benefits both them and the donor.


Contact NPT UK to find out more about how we can help your clients with their end-of-year giving.

About the Author

John Canady, CEO of National Philanthropic Trust UK, has 25 years of experience working across the business, nonprofit and government sectors. He specializes in creating and managing philanthropic funds for donors and family offices around the world who wish to base their philanthropy from the UK.