Why is it so HOT?

by | Jul 10, 2014

It’s July! What comes to mind? Vacation, swimming, Barb B Q, fireworks, family, baseball. Ok, what would you add to the list? It really is that time of year that can be jam packed with activities just like another time of year – yep, Christmas time.  In fact I just saw a headline in the newspaper about a “Christmas in July” event.

I bet make a donation to my favorite charity isn’t on your list. It’s on my list and I encourage you to think about it, too. Taking time mid-year to seriously think about the short list of your favorite charities is the work of a very Smart Giver.

Why would July be important to a Smart Giver? You see, July and August are generally two of the most challenging months for almost any nonprofit.  Demand for services haven’t slowed down (their clients probably didn’t take a vacation), in fact in some cases the need may be greater. Compound that reality with a serious drop-off in donations and the last half of summer can be bleak.

One reason you might not have thought about how tough July can be is because there have been fewer “ask” letters and newsletters in your mailbox to remind you.

So, let’s get back to being a Smart Giver. In the book Give Smart: Philanthropy that Gets Results, Tom Tierney and Joel Fleishman list three critical questions:

  • What am I accountable for?
  • How can success be achieved?
  • What is success?

Let’s focus on the first question, “What am I accountable for?”  One short answer is your resources – who you give to, when you give, and how much.

Remember July? This is a good time to consider making gifts to a few of those favorite charities. They will be more thankful than you can imagine. Just take my word for it even if the thank you letter doesn’t show up immediately.

This is not a fundraising appeal. This is part of giving for the Smart Donor.  So, add it to your July list this year and next year.

As for those other Smart Giver questions above, let’s save them for another time. But go ahead and brew on them just a little; we’ll get back to them.

What else is on your July list?




  1. Margie

    I first started asking myself questions like “What am I accountable for?” in college on a spring break trip to Guatemala. I don’t think I had taken the time to ponder that question before my first trip across the border. It wasn’t until I saw how “little” these children and families lived on that I realized how “much” I really had been given. For the first time I felt accountable and responsible for what I had and to use it wisely. I didn’t consider myself having much as a college student but compared to those I met while on my trip, I was rich! It was a life changing trip even though I didn’t decide to go live in that country and culture to make an impact. For me, it impacted the way I lived back home. It changed the way I viewed my time and resources. It changed the way I actually spent what time and money I did have. Today, the resources I am accountable for seem to fluctuate. Some months I have more time to give than money and some months I have more money to give than time. What matters to me is that I never stop asking myself that question…”What am I accountable for today?”

    • Your Philanthropy

      Accountability is different for each of us. What is important is accepting the challenge each new day.

  2. Laura George

    I’m sorry if this is too raw. I was catching up on my e-mail and I always love Dawn’s wisdom and outlook on life. When i think what am i accoutable for it is whatever God places in my path. It may be something simple as a smile or complicated to appear that you are strong when you feel so weak. My brother passed away last week and to see him laying in that hospital bed I kept questioning God. Why did you not take him quickly. The moment the doctor said he had no brain waves i felt relieved and told the family he is in heaven with my mom and i refuse to watch this body decay. He is in heaven now and that is the way i felt. He was an organ donor and lasted a couple of days but i never went back. He was so giving and he gave his own body to save 3 other people.I love you Marshall and I MISS YOU SO MUCH TAKE CARE OF MOM. What are we accountable for whatever God places in our patH TODAY. Like Margie said Some months i have more time to give than money and some months i have more money to give than time. it is our time somtimes its money. The Bible says give and it shall be given unto you pressed down shaken together and running over


    • Your Philanthropy

      There is nothing more raw than the emotion of loss; I think that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Thank you for sharing your loss and your thoughts with us.


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