How to Choose a Charity: 10 Tips for Giving Wisely
As some of you know, each month I write a “Charity of the Month” post on my blog. I love learning about the world, different kinds of people, and other cultures. Part of that learning involves identifying the challenges and struggles that people outside of our typical peer group encounter. If we are able, it is wonderful to be able to lift others up, whether they are right next door or all the way on the other side of the world. Making charitable donations is one way to do so. This post will provide you with the steps you should take when choosing a charity to support and 10 tips for giving wisely.
What is the purpose of my Charity of the Month posts?
- Help us teach our children about the needs of others worldwide.
- Learn about diversity, empathy, compassion, and also to try to lessen or prevent negative stereotypes of people outside our usual peer group.
- To spread awareness about lesser known organizations that might benefit from our support.
10 Tips for Choosing a Charity to Support
Therefore, I did some investigating and compiled the following list of 10 tips for giving wisely.
- Decide what you are passionate about, clarify your values, and identify your preferences. Do you love animals? Have you lost a loved one to cancer? Does a particular illness or disability affect someone in your family or close friends?
- Decide whether you want to focus on a more global impact or local needs.
- Once you have decided on a cause that speaks to you, find 3-4 charities that focus on that cause and whose mission you believe in.
- Compare several charities that support the same cause and have similar missions. Not all nonprofits are created equal. Some are more reputable, more transparent, or have more concrete goals and achievements.
- Research the organizations to be sure they are legitimate, reputable, and honest.
- Before settling on the charity I choose to write about, I will be using four websites. These websites are designed to evaluate whether a charity is worthy of support and contribution. They look at the transparency of the charities, financial reports, business practices, outcomes, etc.
- Determine exactly how the money you donate will be used. Don’t hesitate to contact the charity and ask very specific questions.
- Assess the transparency of the organization. Do they disclose all of their financial information? Do they put out reports on specific achievements? Avoid charities that won’t share information or pressure you.
- Make sure the charity spends at least 75 percent of its budget on programs and the cause. This means that the charity spends less than 25% of their funds on overhead, management, and to fundraise. An organization that spends more than 25% on these aspects may not be very efficient with their money, and your donation may not reach as many in need.
- Assess the impact of the charity’s work. Can you find evidence of projects that have been completed, who has benefited, and outcomes over time?
- Volunteer. If you are able, see the organization in action by volunteering with them. This gives you an idea of where your donations are going and how the organization impacts others.
Click here to receive your FREE Give Wisely Checklist, in addition to access to my free printable library full of gratitude, kindness, and service resources.
Enjoy exploring the world and its needs with your little helpers, and offer support in whatever way you can.