Step 4: Tasting Menu - Action Steps

A five-course tasting at your favorite restaurant is all about progression. You might begin with an amuse buche, something to awaken your palette. Then it’s on to starters like a fresh salad or chilled soup. You get the idea. 

Now that you’ve determined your values, written a mission statement, and developed your strategy, it’s time to take action. But don’t think you’ll be writing checks just yet. There is still work to be done before you find the right organization for your contribution. Refer to this checklist as you move through the year. (Also, you are welcome to modify the timeframes if you feel ready to move ahead.)

Begin by researching several organizations within the three priority areas that you would like to learn more about. Once you’ve identified these nonprofits, take the following action steps in order to deepen your knowledge of their work.


Starter – Within 2 Months


  • Sign up for a digital newsletter
  • Poke around the organizations’ websites to learn about their programs, history, and mission
  • Follow on Twitter
  • Become a fan on Facebook

First Course – Within 6 Months


  • Choose one of the organizations you’ve researched and make a small donation to one of its programs ($25 or less). This will allow you to see how the NGO communicates with donors once a gift has been made.
  • Revisit your strategy. Did your small donation teach you anything useful? Have you learned enough about each topic? Are you focused on the right organizations? If not, adjust accordingly
  • Engage socially with several of the organizations. Respond to a tweet, or ask a question on Facebook to see how they respond and communicate with you.

Main Course – Within 1 Year


  • Refine your choice of which organizations to deepen your relationship with 
  • Make your first major donation or commit to a monthly gift
  • Consider attending an event or benefit
  • Consider volunteering locally