Invest Financial Planning

Raising Billions For Good With Soraya Alexander

Haley Paskalides  |  November 27, 2023

Soraya Alexander shares how you can show up for the causes you care about even if you’re on a tight budget this holiday season.

The holidays are a time when many of us give back — whether we’re volunteering at a food pantry or donating to a cause we believe in — and this year, our donations could be more important than ever.  Nearly 5 million fewer people gave to charity in 2022 than in 2019, according to Charities Aid Foundation, and from 2021 to 2022, charitable giving dropped by 3.4% overall, according to The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Further complicating the picture is that today, there are more than 1.5 million nonprofits in the U.S. alone, so deciding where your donations will make the most impact can be a challenge. 

SUBSCRIBE: New episode drops every Monday! Subscribe to How She Does It on Apple Podcasts so you never miss the latest!

Soraya Alexander, Chief Operating Officer at GoFundMe and president of Classy says the reason for the decline in giving is that people by and large feel powerless to make change. “They feel anguish for these communities, they feel heartbroken for what these individuals are losing and they want to show up and help. But they’re saying, ‘I don’t see myself in these huge, scaled, non-profit response efforts, and so I just may as well not give,’” she says. 

So how can online giving platforms build connections to show the importance individual donations have? “When you look at GoFundMe, you know that your $100 will have an impact on someone’s ability to buy textbooks, to pay for your cancer treatment, to pay rent. They’re very, human-scale problems and so then your impact is very tangible and real,” Alexander says. “And what we’re trying to do is show how these stories of solidarity actually do translate and play a role in curing cancer at large, trying to address homelessness in massive metropolitan areas — things like this that need big dollars.”

Her advice for younger donors (or anyone who feels like they are on a tighter budget than usual this season) is to figure out how you want to show up and represent the things you care about in the world. She also says that before people give, they should take the time to engage with a cause — whether that’s via volunteering or doing research online — and then decide where your dollars or time will have the most impact. 

How She Does It is bringing you stories like these from women who have made it their mission to make an impact on the world every single Monday. Listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts! (And don’t forget to share with a friend if you’re loving the show!) 


Join us! Snag all the latest episodes, savvy budgeting tips, investing advice and even giveaways via the HerMoney Newsletter at!

This podcast is proudly supported by iShares. BLACKROCK and iSHARES are trademarks of BlackRock, Inc. or its affiliates (together “BlackRock”). The information provided in this communication is solely for educational purposes and should not be construed as advice or an investment recommendation. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views of BlackRock. BlackRock is not affiliated with HerMoney

Editor’s note: We maintain a strict editorial policy and a judgment-free zone for our community, and we also strive to remain transparent in everything we do. Posts may contain references and links to products from our partners. Learn more about how we make money.

Next Article: