Explore Your Impact: How to complete your return on good Giving Impact Record

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The ROG team created an interactive giving and service record so you can begin the process of exploring the impact you’ve had through charitable giving and volunteer service. The record works in Microsoft Excel, and allows you to list all the organizations and causes you’ve helped. It automatically totals the value of your contributions and even makes an estimate of the economic value of your volunteer work. Here’s a quick guide to get started.  Download the Return on Good Giving Impact Record and start adding up your good today.

Find the total value of your giving

With the first worksheet, you can total up your current, historic and potential planned monetary contributions. We’ve provided 10 spots for key charities. If you have more than 10, you can total up remaining organizations on the final line. The orange shaded sections are where you enter values, and the worksheets will automatically total. Here are some guidelines:

  • Mission Category: We’ve used the categories established by GivingUSA along with a few additions to help you categorize your giving. Our recommendation, don’t sweat this, just choose what’s the closest match to the charity.
  • Organization: The name of the charity or cause you support.
  • Annual Giving: The amount, in dollars, you annually give to this cause. Most supporters give more than once to a charity annually, so you might have a main gift, but then perhaps you also participate in special events. Try to total the amount you give annually. If you itemize charitable giving for taxes you might be able to look at those records, but again, don’t sweat it, and just do your best.
  • Total Giving To Date: Think back to the number of years you’ve supported this charity. You’ve probably increased your giving over time, but give a try at best estimate of the total amount you’ve given. Be sure to combine the annual gifts you’ve made every year, plus any additional project, campaign or other big gifts you’ve made. We’ve provided a mini-calculator over to the side that might help you come up with this value. And many charities also have societies that you are invited into after a certain amount of giving. If you have a charity annual report to look at, it may help. Don't labor over this: make your best estimate.
  • Planned Future Giving: If you’ve put an organization in your will, committed to a campaign gift in the coming years, or you’re thinking about making a future big gift, put that estimated or potential value here.

The calculator will show your estimated total lifetime giving. What did you learn? Most people greatly underestimate the amounts they give each year and how they add up over a lifetime.

Add the estimated value of your service

Your volunteer work has real value to the organizations you support. Whether it’s doing hands on volunteering on a regular basis, serving on a board to provide advice and support, or using your network to help the organization raise funds and awareness, your service can really amplify the impact of a cause. Use this next worksheet to help quantify your volunteer work. And it’s okay if you’re not currently volunteering – you can definitely use this worksheet to add up past service, or feel free to skip it.

  • Annual Hours: Provide an estimate of your annual hours of service to the organization. We’ve provided a quick calculator to help. Start with the amount you volunteer in a week. (And if you volunteer monthly, just divide those hours by 4). Then use the number of weeks you volunteer in a year, and add in any additional hours you serve for big events, conferences, galas or fund drives. This should give you a pretty good estimate of your service hours. And be sure to count all the hours you spend, including travel time, time spent reading materials, etc.
  • Total Hours to Date: This might add up to quite a bit if you’ve been volunteering for many years with a cause. Consider your average annual hours, and multiply this by the number of years you’ve volunteered with a cause. You can use the quick Total Hours calculator to the side for help.
  • Positions Held: Type in any board, leadership or honorary positions you’ve held at the organization.

What did you learn? Volunteer service can add up to a lot of hours in a lifetime, and has been shown to be associated with greater happiness, civic engagement, and a longer life!

Check out your total contribution value

You can now head over to the final tab and see your impact overview.  

  • We’ve added up all the monetary contributions and calculated an estimated monetary value of your giving.
  • The volunteering value is created using recent research on the economic value of volunteering. You may want to adjust this amount up if you’re volunteering as a professional with advanced training, like, medical, pro bono legal work, financial advice, skilled trades, etc.
  • You’re likely to see some pretty big numbers as totals on this worksheet. This is a great way to estimate your total charitable impact over time and plan for the future.

What did you learn? Was the total more than you expected? Are you close to a major milestone? Are there areas where you would like to invest more?

Next: explore your real impact with ROG’s help

Are you wondering what all those dollars mean for the real people your chosen charities serve? Wondering where you’ve had the greatest impact? The Return on Good team can help. We’ll talk with you about your core values and mission, and help you quantify where you’ve done the most good. Then, we can help you plan your next giving investment. Contact us today for short discussion on your giving goals, and how we can help you maximize your impact for good.  Note: If you’ve had any trouble completing the calculator, we’d love to help. We’re also constantly updating the impact record, and if you have a suggestion or notice a bug, drop us a note right away.