How to give charities

Knowing ‘Why’ You Donate Provides Guidance on ‘How’

Charitable giving can be a fascinating exercise. Take, for example, Charles (Chuck) Feeney, now age 87 and living in San Francisco, who made a US$7-million donation in December, 2016. It was a special gift because it was his last donation in completing his pledge to give away virtually everything he had – about US$8-billion in total. It’s taken more than 35 years to give it away. He and his wife kept $2-million to live on, and it was reported by The New York Times that there have been no “naming rights” accepted by Mr. Feeney, and most of his gifts were anonymous.

This type of story makes you wonder what makes Mr. Feeney tick. Why did he give this way? Fascinating. Inspiring. Google his name to read more about him.


When it comes to donating, it’s important to understand why you give. Charles Feeney certainly understood his why. When you understand the why it answers many other questions – the “Six W’s” – you may have about charitable giving: Who (which charities) should I donate to? What should I donate (cash, securities, or other assets)? Where should I donate from (my personal, corporate, trust or foundation pocket)? When should I donate (today, upon death or both)? How should I donate (with or without recognition) and how much should I give?

When it comes to understanding why you give, it’s helpful to consider the Seven Faces of Philanthropy (thanks to Russ Alan Prince and Karen Maru File who wrote a book by the same name). The seven faces really represent “donor personalities” – or why people may be motivated to give. In most cases, there’s more than one face of philanthropy that will apply to an individual. While there may be other reasons why people donate, these form the key reasons:

  1. Communitarians: For these folks, doing good for the community just makes sense. They focus on how to make their community a better place to work and live.
  2. The Devout: These are people who give for faith reasons. For them, it’s only right to share what they have been blessed to receive, and giving is a moral or spiritual imperative.
  3. Investors: These donors see giving as being good business. For these folks, there may be multiple purposes for donating: to help charities, gain tax relief and raise the profile of their businesses.
  4. Socialites: These people see charity as fun. They genuinely have a good time giving back. They often accomplish this through social events and look to use their social networks to help their favourite causes.
  5. Altruists. These folks give out of a sense of moral imperative. They believe that giving back is simply the right thing to do.
  6. Repayers. These donors give out of a sense of gratitude. Perhaps this is because they have received much from their community (geographic or social) or charities and want to return the favour.
  7. Dynasts. These folks give back because it’s a family tradition. They are accustomed to the importance of supporting charitable causes. It may even be a family expectation that they give back.


How do these faces of philanthropy help in answering the who, what, where, when and how of giving? Consider William’s story (a fictitious character I’ve based on a number of individuals I’ve met over the years). He’s a business owner who lives in a rural community and has experienced great success in his farm-equipment business. William is grateful for the way the community has supported him over the years, wants to give back to his community and also believes that giving back is good for his business. If you were to ask William about his faces of philanthropy, he’d say that he’s a Communitarian, Investor and Repayer.

When trying to figure out who should benefit from his gifts, he’s decided to donate to his community foundation since he wants his community to benefit from his gifts, and the community foundation can help him decide where to allocate his charitable dollars most effectively in the community.

Where should he give from? He wants his business to benefit from his giving, so he’s going to donate from his active business corporation. What will he give? Well, given that the company doesn’t own assets of note to donate, but rather has cash, the company will make cash donations. When should he give? Since William wants his company to benefit, there’s no point in waiting until he has passed away to donate, so he’s decided to give annually during his lifetime. As for how to give: William is making gifts with recognition so that his business benefits.

What faces of philanthropy would describe you? As we near year-end, allow your faces of philanthropy to guide your answers to who, what, where, when and how you give back. Next time, I’ll talk a little more about how much to give.

Tim Cestnick, FCPA, FCA, CPA(IL), CFP, TEP, is an author, and co-founder and CEO of Our Family Office Inc. He can be reached at

The Giving Gap: What stops Canadians from donating more to charitable organizations?

ihiveLIVE ‘s sharing platform and business model provides cash to individuals so that they can donate to their favourite charity or cause.  And by all accounts, one of the biggest barriers to more people giving to charity , or giving more, is not having the money to do so in the first place.  There is plenty of evidence to support ihiveLIVE’s strategy.  Below are excerpts from an article published online by the Angus Reid Institute on December 28, 2017.

  The Giving Gap – Do Canadians feel they give enough?

Nearly one-in-three Canadians (30%) – the equivalent of more than eight million adults – say they feel they should be donating more to charity. That said, the majority are comfortable with their current level of charitable giving, and very few say they are spending too much, as seen in the following graph:

Drivers of donation deficits

Financial concerns top the list of reasons Canadians offer for giving less than they would like to charity. Half of those who say they would like to be doing more cite their finances as “the whole reason” that they are not doing so. This concern is particularly pronounced among lower income households, which, of course, have less money to give.

That said, previous research has indicated that while they are unable to give as much in a raw dollar amount, lower-income individuals are often more generous with their money – in terms of the percentage they donate – than wealthier people.

Expressed as a portion of the total population, the number of Canadians who feel they should be donating more, but can’t afford to do so, is roughly one-in-six (15%). This equates for more than four million people who would like to be more charitable, but feel they can’t for financial reasons.

3 Reasons Consumers Want You (Advertisers) to Adopt A Customer Data Platform

“Customers want brands to guide them quickly to products and offers that are truly relevant, instead of overwhelming them with meaningless messages.” Here at ihiveLIVE, we could not agree more … read the rest of this article which provides further proof that what we are offering is both disruptive and welcomed.

SEPTEMBER 3, 2018 Direct Marketing Tamara Gruzbarg

Every day, consumers are bombarded with totally irrelevant marketing messages—even from brands they love. Customers are practically begging brands to cut it out. Not surprisingly, the number of people using ad-blocking software has doubled in the last four years, reaching just over 3 in 10 users in 2018, according to an eMarketer survey.

Customers want brands to guide them quickly to products and offers that are truly relevant, instead of overwhelming them with meaningless messages.

And they are right to expect that. After all, customers are constantly telling brands what they want, and what they don’t; what motivates them, and what turns them off– from the purchases they make and the channels they shop in, to the ads, offers, and emails, they ignore.

Now, it’s up to brands to find a way to hear everything their customers are saying, and use this knowledge to respond in radically relevant ways to every individual customer. Here are three things you can be sure all your customers are trying to tell you:

1) Stop overwhelming my brain’s inbox!

Have you ever shopped for a hotel online, and then canceled the trip before ever making a booking—only to be haunted for months with deals on accommodations in a town you never really wanted to visit in the first place? Soon, they are overwhelming you with every single product and service in their portfolio—including those you have never shown interest in at all.

Maybe you had good experiences with this brand in the past, but now you are so numb to their messages that you automatically skip over the fantastic travel offer to a city you’ve long wanted to visit.

Know the feeling? Here’s what your own customers are saying:

If you don’t stop: You will lose my trust in any offer you make, even the good ones. All things being equal, I may choose another service in the future, because you have gradually turned me off of yours.

What I really want is: Fewer messages, and only ones with real potential value to me—even if I don’t act on them every single time. Observe what appeals to me and build on that. Then, I will really pay attention when you reach out.

2) Stop acting like you don’t know me!

Have you ever browsed for clothing online, then bought it in-store—only to receive an onslaught of ads and emails touting the item you literally just purchased?

A brand’s marketing organization may be divided into channel-specific teams, each operating with siloed data and a separate P&L sheet. But what do you care? From your perspective, you’ve spoken with great clarity, but no one is listening. In fact, they seem not to recognize you at all—even though you are a loyal customer.

Sound familiar? Here’s what your own customers are asking:

If you don’t stop: I am going to feel alienated by your brand. I am going to question, or simply ignore, any messages you send in the future—no matter how much you try to say the offer is “exclusively” for me. It’s obviously not. What I really want is: Recognition of my value as a customer, regardless of how you are reaching out to me. I like what you offer, but you aren’t going to win my next purchase by forgetting that we already have a relationship.

3) Stop coming at me from every angle!

Let’s say you clicked on an offer from your bank to refinance your mortgage. Suddenly, everywhere you turn, you are being harried to follow up “before this offer, designed especially for you, ends”—via SMS, email, phone, and even in your social media feed.

The original refinance offer was interesting. You would have been happy to come into a branch at a fixed time and speak with a banker—as you do when considering retirement options. But you hate all of these robocalls and would never click an ad on social, lest you be bombarded by yet more irrelevant messages. Suddenly, your potential interest turns to annoyance, and when you finally get an invite to a meeting with a banker, you are tired of the whole subject and move on.

Been there? Here’s what your customers are demanding:

If you don’t stop: I will continue to ignore you. Even when you do reach out in the way that I prefer, I am going to be less willing to respond, because you have already shown you don’t “get” me. What I really want is: For you to notice how, over the history of our relationship, I have preferred to communicate through certain channels—and respect that. If you do, I will have more confidence in our relationship, and am much more likely to pay close attention to the offers you make.

In short, customers want you to speak to them in highly-relevant ways—and leave them in peace until you can do so. No more batch-and-blast campaigns. A Customer Data Platform can help you draw on every bit of relevant data your customers provide—and empower your marketing team to act on that information in intelligent ways— from channel preferences, to timely, highly-relevant, AI-driven, offers.

About the author: Tamara Gruzbarg is Head of Industry Insights at ActionIQ. Prior to joining ActionIQ, Tamara served as SVP of Data, Analytics, and Consumer Insight at Meredith Corporation (formerly Time Inc.) and VP of CRM and Analytics at Stuart Weitzman (acquired by Coach Inc.).

Study: 71% of consumers prefer personalized ads

There is plenty of evidence that ihiveLIVE is on the right track regarding giving consumers control over their personal preferences and delivering personalized advertising based on those stated preferences. Excerpts below from one article.

AUTHOR David Kirkpatrick PUBLISHED May 9, 2016 Marketing Dive

Dive Brief:
New Adlucent research found that consumers crave a personalized advertising experience and that 71% of respondents prefer ads tailored to interests and shopping habits. Personalized ads also boost engagement. An interesting data point from the study was that people were almost twice as likely to click through for an ad featuring an unknown brand if the ad was tailored to their preferences.

What’s more, 44% of respondents were willing to give up information including name, address or email address in order to get more personalized advertising.

Dive Insight:
“As brands continue to battle for consumer dollars, it’s clear that the way to win is through personalization. Consumers expect content that is both useful and contextually relevant — the right information served at the right time,” Michael Griffin, CEO and founder of Adlucent , told Marketing Dive.

For consumers, the advantages of personalized advertising are invaluable. Adlucent’s research asked consumers to name the greatest benefits to personalization, which consumers listed as helping reduce irrelevant ads (46%), a way to discover new products (25%) and making online shopping easier (19%).

Adlucent’s research makes it clear that people want to see relevant advertising, and it’s also a validation of the idea that the consumer is in charge of their marketing experience.

That being said, Adlucent’s research also found that consumers’ definitions of personalized advertising vary. For marketers, that means understanding that audiences are willing to engage with marketing messages, so long as it comes in timely and tailored forms. What personalization offers marketers is an effective way to be relevant and valuable for a target audience.

“For marketers, creating a personalized experience starts with getting a unified view of your customer. How do they shop — and what have they purchased — across different channels? What promotions have they taken advantage of in the past? With that data, you have the foundation to better deliver on customer’s expectations,” Griffin said, adding, “Personalized advertising is about making the search and shopping experience as easy and friction-less as possible.”

Consumers Don’t Hate Ads, They Just Have Personal Preferences in Advertising

Our approach at ihiveLIVE is really simple: let’s just ask the consumer what they want to receive in advertising messages and marketing offers. No need for big data or tracking customers across the internet. Another article that supports our approach and recognizes the voice of the customer.

AUTHOR Aaron Miles PUBLISHED Nov. 2, 2015 Social Media Today

A common belief is that people hate advertising. They hate how they are saturated with advertising everywhere they go. They hate how it interrupts their TV shows, their radio, even their social media streams. They hate how it tries to trick them into buying stuff they don’t want for problems they don’t actually have. But what if it wasn’t that people hated advertising, thy were just a bit picky about it?

Such is the conclusion of a recent survey by marketing firm MarketingSherpa (via Carrie Cummings in Adweek) that actually bothered to ask consumers how they actually wanted to receive ads. And, surprisingly, only 8% said that they flat out didn’t want to receive them at all.

Also surprising were the number of consumers who prefer traditional methods of receiving ads, with 54% saying they like to receive updates and promotions in the mail (as in snail mail), which actually makes sense if you think about it. Who doesn’t like receiving something tangible like coupons or discounts, instead of some ephemeral promotion by email?

In fact, what seems most striking about the infographic is just the increasing diversity in the number of ways that people can receive information from marketers. Some are more popular than others, but there’s mail, email, social media, company websites, texts, apps, and more.

The same is true for consumers’ ways of discovering new products, with the tried and true methods of in-store browsing (59%) and word-of-mouth from friends and family (57%) being the most popular, but with twelve other methods of advertising being preferred before we get to “Other” at 5%.

So what does this all tell us? People don’t mind advertising, but they want it personalized, and they want to get it in the way they prefer. What does this mean for marketers? Well, the obvious is that targeted marketing is the way to go, but less obvious is the compact they need to make with their audience.

People want options. They want some measure of control. They want to decide how often they get ads and what form they take. And any one consumer might not have the same taste as another. In other words, for marketers, things are just going to get more and more complicated. Marketing can’t be through saturation any more. It should be a tap on the shoulder, a polite reminder, a “don’t mean to bother you, but we’re having a sale this weekend” email. That’s what people want, marketers just have to provide it in the right way.