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In Honor of Mother

Black news from Pasadena - Be different.  Honor mother with a nonprofit giftMother's Day is soon upon us. You can wait until the last minute, purchase flowers or take your mom to dinner. Or you can plan ahead. Consider making a gift to a nonprofit in honor of your mother or a woman who has fulfilled that role in your life. You could make the gift to an organization she is involved with, one she financially supports, or one from her hometown. You could also consider giving to an organization that supports mothers when they most need help. Here are a few to consider: battered women's shelters, the food bank, temporary housing shelters for women and children, a group that supports mothers in the military, teen moms, or women seeking re-training for the job market. Think about what would mean the most to her.

Here are a few things to consider. When you make a gift in honor of someone you need to let the organization know who you are honoring. If you send a check enclose a note saying "this gift is in honor of Diana Adams." Provide her mailing address and ask that they send Diana a letter letting her know you made a gift in her honor. You can also call or email the organization, let them know what you want to do, and ask for help in working out the details. Ask the organization to keep your mom up-to-date on events and programs via email or letter. You may want to arrange a time for you and your mom to visit the organization together or attend one of its events.

If you work for a nonprofit, be thoughtful when receiving gifts made in honor of others. Quickly send a thank you letter to the donor and to the person being honored. Here's an example. Andrea Black gives $50 to the local YWCA in honor of Ruby White. When writing to Ms. White you can include "Ms. Andrea Black made a generous gift in your honor." Don't write "Andrea donated $25 in your honor." When thanking Andrea let her know a note has been sent to Ruby informing her of your gift. You want to include the gift amount in your letter to Andrea including a statement that no goods or services were received in exchange for the gift. That helps at tax time.

Giving a gift in honor of your mother brings her values and beliefs to life in a tangible way. Letting your mother know you made a gift in her honor is one more way to say "I love you." Plan ahead and increase your impact this Mother's Day.  © Copyright Mel and Pearl Shaw.

[Mel and Pearl Shaw are the owners of Saad & Shaw. They help non-profit organizations and institutions increase their fundraising. They are the authors of How to Solicit a Gift: Turning Prospects into Donors. Visit them at or call (901) 522-8727.]


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