I’ve expanded my own personal philanthropy over the years and, along with my husband, have developed ten key principles that guide our giving. Not all of these will fit everyone, but I’m confident that at least some of them will resonate with you.

1. Give on your schedule, not theirs.

I was overwhelmed with constant requests for gifts, both casual solicitations in the mail and larger “cultivations” from major philanthropic organizations. My husband and I decided to act as if we had a personal philanthropic foundation. We accumulate requests during the year and schedule an annual meeting to review our philanthropic goals and gifts.

2. Give through a philanthropic fund.

A philanthropic fund (“phil fund”) is a kitty that you set up, usually with a community charitable foundation, from which you can direct contributions.

3. Figure out what you went to accomplish, and then find the organization that can help you do it.

There are a million good causes. You simply cannot address them all. You have to think through which problems are the ones you care about the most. Then seek out the organizations who operate most effectively in that area.

5. Think about the scale of what you are giving relative to the scale of the organization or campaign.

I think of gifts in two flavors: leadership gifts and participation gifts. For leadership gifts, you want to give enough to be a significant fraction of the goal. Participation gifts, on the other hand, are a “drop in the bucket” relative to the organization, but are still important.

6. Give more than money.

Money is one of the most important resources you can give to an organization to partner with them to accomplish their mission, but they also need volunteer help.

Read the full article about personal philanthropy tips by Donna Dubinsky at Medium.