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How do I effectively analyze the distribution of my philanthropic donations?

We recommend taking the following steps in reviewing and reconsidering your donations:

Download your existing philanthropic donation data, and group them according to how much you have donated by the following categories (as applicable):
  • Geography/location
  • Demographic groups or target populations
  • Social impact priority area or pillar
  • Relationship manager or team member
  • Timing (e.g., by month, quarter)

Review the distribution of your investments by each of these categories, and answer the following questions:
  • Do the historical distributions align with expectations?
  • If not, what factors likely contributed to any unexpected or undesirable distribution trends, such as:
    • External or environmental factors (e.g., COVID or natural disasters)?
    • Shifting corporate priorities?
    • Decision processes, such as application review and approval?
    • Staffing structures?
    • Other?
  • Do any areas merit further inquiry?

For categories where donations appear out of balance, consider the following strategies to create a more appropriate distribution

  • Distribution by Timing
    • Even distribution by quarter or month
    • Custom distribution each quarter or month
  • Distribution by Geography
    • Equal distribution among sites/facilities
    • Distribution based on number of employees
    • Distribution based on revenue
  • Distribution by Demographics
    • Target donation (% of investments or $ amount)
    • Target reach (% of beneficiaries reached or aggregate # reached)
    • Target impact (% of beneficiaries impacted or # impacted)
  • Distribution by Social Cause
    • Equal distribution among causes
    • Priority issues vs non-priority issues (e.g., 80% vs 20%), with equal distribution within those categories
    • Custom allocations (assign to each cause area)

Finalize your distribution goals and share them with your team as part of annual planning
  • Consider who on the team or in other functional areas need to be informed
  • Consider messaging tactics including sharing the WHY behind the investment redistribution approaches and how the redistribution plans align with your foundation and/or corporate priorities