GREATER KANSAS CITY COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

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1 GREATER KANSAS CITY COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

2 TO ACHIEVE GREATNESS: start where you are, USE WHAT YOU HAVE, do what you can. ARTHUR ASHE You ve reached that time in your life when you want to give back. Perhaps you feel strongly about a cause. Maybe one organization has touched your life or the life of a loved one. You might want to create a legacy or pass along your values to future generations. Whatever your motivation for giving, the key to a rewarding experience is to find the best fit between your charitable dreams and financial resources to achieve your goals. This giving guide is designed to help you find the best fit as you answer, What is important to me? becoming strategic with your giving Giving away money is easy. Giving it away wisely is hard, but extremely satisfying work. Even small amounts of money, well placed, can matter. Effective and meaningful giving does not necessarily reuire great wealth or enormous funding initiatives just thoughtfulness and planning. The Giving Guide is a step-by-step discussion guide to lead you through exercises that help you: Define your values Identify your interest areas Create a mission statement Make strategic decisions about your charitable giving By aligning your charitable giving and volunteer work with your values, life experiences and interests, you can make a meaningful difference in the community.

3 IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF LIFE Ultimately, charitable giving is about improving the uality of life. For the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, it s our mission. We improve the uality of life in our region by increasing charitable giving, connecting donors to community needs they care about and providing leadership on critical community issues. Since 1978, we have partnered with an estimated 20,000 individuals to grant more than $1 billion to our community. Collectively our donors have supported more than 2,500 nonprofits in the metropolitan area. No matter how much you give, or how you give, everyone can be a strategic philanthropist. Whether it s a $25 credit card donation made online at or it s a $1 million beuest for scholarships, you can invest in the community in ways that you care about the most.

4 DEFINING YOUR PERSONAL VALUES AND BELIEFS Values are what we hold to be of the greatest personal importance and worth. They refl ect your core principles and defi ne how you live your life. What are your most important values? Choose three values from this list or other ideas of your own. If you d like to involve your family in charitable giving, encourage family members to talk about their individual values and fi nd some similarities.

5 Identify your top three values. Example: My/Our top three values are knowledge, opportunity and respect. My/Our top three values are: values: Acceptance Beauty Commitment Compassion Courage Creativity Faith Freedom Free enterprise Generosity Harmony Healing Honesty Opportunity Patriotism Peace Personal liberty Preservation Respect Responsibility Democracy Discipline Dignity Diversity Empathy Empowering Euality Integrity Innovation Justice Joy Knowledge Leadership Love Self sufficiency Service Simplicity Work ethic

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7 IDENTIFYING YOUR INTEREST AREAS What moves you the most when you read the paper, listen to the news, or think about the state of our community, nation or the world? Where do you already volunteer or serve on a board? What causes do you care about? What organizations have made a difference in your life or the lives of your family members? This exercise is meant to help you narrow your interest areas to those that matter most to you. Identify three areas of interest, think about why they are important, then record and discuss the answers. My/Our top three interest areas are: interest area examples: Arts and Culture Visual Performing Animal-Related Civil Rights and Advocacy Community Improvement Crime and Legal-related Diseases, Disorders and Medicine Education Preschool Elementary and Secondary Higher Education Employment Environment Food, Agriculture and Nutrition Health Housing and Shelter Human Services Children, Youth and Family Services Domestic Violence Aging International Affairs and National Security Medical Research Mental Health and Crisis Intervention Philanthropy and Voluntarism Betterment of Society Disaster Preparedness and Relief Recreation and Sports Religion-related Science and Technology Youth Development

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9 CONNECTING VALUES AND INTERESTS Take your three values and your three interest areas and look for connections. What links your values and interests? Look at the family values and common interest areas and ask: What would a better world look like? What is something I want to change? Example: If your top three values are knowledge, opportunity and respect and your top three interests are education, literacy and self-sufficiency, then the link between them might be: In order for everyone to have the opportunity to become selfsufficient and lead their lives with respect, they must be able to read and learn. The link between my/our values and interests is:

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11 DEVELOPING YOUR MISSION STATEMENT Your mission statement should help clarify your philanthropic goals and establish giving priorities and/or volunteer activities. Talk about what you can do to achieve your philanthropic goals. This should be an action statement about your philanthropic purpose or mission statement. You may need to draft a few statements and refine them over time, but your mission statement can guide your charitable giving and volunteering for many years. Sample mission statement: We seek to decrease illiteracy in our community. We do this by supporting adult and child literacy programs and volunteering 10 hours a month tutoring youth and adults. Mission statement: active mission statement words Accomplish Adapt Advocate Change Commit Competent Consistent Decrease Dedicate Develop Educate Effective Efficient Eliminate Encourage Establish Increase Insure Knowledgeable Perform Prevent Produce Provide Reliable Relieve Respond Retain Support Sustain Train Value Visible Volunteer

12 WAYS THE GREATER KANSAS CITY COMMUNITY FOUNDATION CAN HELP Now that you know what is important to you, how can you find out which nonprofit organizations can help fulfill your charitable dreams? DonorEdge was developed by the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation to provide comprehensive information online about nonprofit organizations in the metropolitan area. At you can enter keywords to help you find organizations that share your mission. For example, if you enter children as a keyword, you ll find all the organizations in the community that have programs for children. Or, if you already have an interest in a particular organization, enter the organization name to view its in-depth profile. Invest in the Community Some donors simply react to grant reuests and support organizations they know, trusting that good things will happen with the grants they make. The result of this approach is awarding a variety of grants, which may or may not make an impact on the community. Some donors are charitable investors who strive to make a strategic, measurable impact on the community. Ultimately, successful charitable investments will result in positive changes on the uality of life in this community. Donors who are charitable investors are guided by three uestions: What result will my dollars achieve? What are the chances that my dollars will, in fact, achieve those results? Is this the best possible use of my money?

13 DonorEdge offers you the opportunity to assess whether a nonprofit s programs are working and, if so, whether the nonprofit has the capacity to fulfill its mission. The table below offers a baseline of recommended best practices. criteria Programs Operating budget Income sources Rainy day fund (operating reserve) Administrative and fundraising expense as compared to program expense recommended best practice Measurable performance criteria and program results are favorable Revenue meets or exceeds expenses and growth in revenue exceeds the rate of inflation A balance of three or more sources is ideal Three to six months savings reserve 25% administrative expense is ideal; 35% may be justifiable based on special circumstances Senior leadership Retention of senior staff leadership 75% Executive compensation Transparency Compensation is in line with overall performance, budget and staff size of the organization Current information regarding the organization can be easily accessed. Validated IRS Form 990 reports and audits are posted on DonorEdge Board engagement Board meets in a policy mode with meeting attendance rate 67% Other ideas to help you identify a charitable organization you are passionate about include talking with the charity and touring its facilities. This gives you a chance to learn first hand about its goals and challenges.

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15 EXPERIENCE THE JOY OF MAKING A DIFFERENCE Why should you get involved with charitable giving? Because you can, and the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation can help you get started. Establish your family foundation fund for a fee of just $21 per month. Start a giving circle to rally your friends and family around your favorite charitable cause. Or, purchase a Charity Giving Card to help celebrate a birthday, a job well done, or any special occasion. We take seriously our mission to improve the uality of life in Kansas City by involving everyone all races and ages and our entire metropolitan area, north, south, east and west in the joy of making a difference. We hope this Giving Guide will help you connect to the charitable causes important to you. For more information, contact us at or visit us at

16 1055 Broadway, Suite 130 Kansas City, MO Fax:

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