December is giving season, the time of year when donors in the US deliver approximately 1/3 of all their annual charitable gifts. Many in the type 1 diabetes (T1D) community want to contribute to a project that has the potential to meaningfully change the life of a loved one currently living with the disease: to alleviate the stress of overnight lows, to end finger pricks, carb counting, and insulin administration forever.
This report lays out a thoughtful process for giving that acknowledges your right to make an informed choice with your donation and ask for results. The 4S’s of Good Giving strategy helps to increase the impact of any charitable gift and ensure your T1D donation is being used to fund cure research.
The Four S’s of Good Giving
The first and most important step is to clearly state what impact you want your gift to deliver. If you are one of the 97% of T1D donors who wants to fund cure research, your objective is to give a gift that is actually used for cure research—any other application would be off strategy.
There are many fantastic organizations within the T1D community. These can be broken down into three basic groups: (1) major charities such as the ADA and JDRF; (2) national or local medical research centers; (3) specific research projects. Choose the one that is most capable of delivering your strategy.
When giving to a charity, the only way to ensure your money is used the way you want it to be used is to specify in writing. Write a letter along with your gift specifically stating how the donation should be used. For example: "This donation in the amount of $XX is to be fully used to fund cure research grants." If the recipient is not willing or able to use the money to fund cure research, they are obligated to return the money.
The JDCA provides donation cards on our website that you can use to specify that your gift should be used for T1D cure research.
Every donor has the right to ask how a previous donation was used. This information can help you determine whether you want to continue or adjust your giving strategy. Asking how your gift is used also keeps the recipients on their toes and reminds them they are accountable and dependent upon you, the donor.