Beneficial State Foundation Perspectives

Our thoughts on changing the banking system for good and building the new economy

Tis the season – Give!Guide 2018

Kate is Beneficial State Foundation’s Community Engagement Officer based in Portland, OR.

Beneficial State recognizes that a resilient nonprofit sector is critical to creating lasting social change in the name of dignity and justice for all. Nonprofits that are working on climate justice are currently, and will continue to be in the coming years, essential for mitigating the disastrous impacts of climate change. Like many other nonprofit orgs and businesses, Beneficial State Bank and Foundation offer a matching donation program to increase the impact of charitable gifts made by employees. We are also proud to sponsor the Willamette Week’s annual Portland Give!Guide and encourage Portlanders to give to local nonprofits through Give!Guide’s digital platform.

We’re honored to support 22 of our nonprofit clients and community partners in Portland who are featured in this year’s Give!Guide. Seeing the profiles of all of these clients and allies on a single platform reminds me of the multitude of innovative and transformational partnerships that are unfolding in our city — many of which are focused on creating affordable housing, ending homelessness, advancing climate justice, creating healthy food systems, and so much more.

As a member of the Board of Directors for two Portland nonprofits, Write Around Portland and BLocalPDX, I know that the financial resiliency of nonprofits is increasingly dependent on strong individual giving programs that create stability, in addition to grants, earned revenue and corporate giving. We each have a part to play to ensure that nonprofits have the financial health to achieve their missions.

Here are 5 things to reflect on for your own charitable giving:

  1. Get to know the Beneficial State clients and partners who are featured, and give generously! Not in Portland? Use the categories in the Give!Guide to think about the organizations and issues in your own community that you’d like to support financially.
  2. Talk with your family about upcoming holidays, birthdays and other special occasions that involve traditions of gift giving to explore how you might pledge to give to charity in each other’s honor instead of giving gifts.
  3. Track down the paperwork for your company’s matching donation program. If there isn’t one, consider writing a brief note to leadership and HR asking them to consider this valuable employee benefit in the future.
  4. Replace a white elephant / secret snowflake gift exchange with a nonprofit exchange. Follow the same process as traditional gift games, only each participant provides information about their favorite nonprofit. Whoever draws that person’s name gives the designated dollar amount to the nonprofit. This is how I learned about the Point Foundation back in 2014, and I’m still giving to them.
  5. Set aside time at the start of the new year to make a personal charitable giving budget. This can help you plan for recurring monthly donations, annual fundraising events, and other unanticipated opportunities to support urgent needs in your community.

This blog post reflects the author’s personal views and opinions, and does not represent the views and opinions of Beneficial State Bank and/or Beneficial State Foundation.