Giving charity is an altruistic action that can have many benefits for yourself and your community. With so many charities active today, how do you know which charity to give to? This is a great question, and it is not something to be taken lightly. You want to make sure your gift will be used effectively and for something, you care about. Here is Life for Relief and Development’s Top 7 Tips for Finding the Right Charity for You.
1. Figure Out Which Cause Resonates With You
There are many great causes out there from giving puppies a home to helping people hear, the list of charitable causes is long. Ask yourself what you feel passionate about. For example, an environmental charity might be a good choice if you enjoy gardening.
2. Find Charities that Support Your Chosen Cause
This can be as simple as a search using google to find potential charities that are working to help your chosen cause. Look at their website, and read their mission statement, if it fits the bill, then it is a good candidate. Once you have 5 charities you can move on to the next step.
3. Look Up Your Top 5 Charity Picks on Charity Navigator
On this site, you can see all kinds of relevant information about a charity. Charity Navigator has tallied different factors to give viewers an overall score of any given charity. These ratings are based on the following elements financial accountability and transparency, financial records, culture and community, leadership and adaptability, and overall impact. It even goes into a detailed breakdown of how each charity uses its funds. See the next step to further narrow down your top 5 charity choices.
4. Get to Know Your Charity
Call or visit your charities of choice and ask them any questions you may have regarding the organization. Just as you would test drive and make many inquiries before purchasing a car, you want to vet and authenticate a charity before donating. Here are some potential questions that you can ask.
Exactly how are donations used?
How is the effectiveness of your work evaluated?
What progress are you making toward your goals?
How is this measured?
What is something you would like donors to know about you?
Why is it important I give to your organization?
5. Look at a Charity’s Fiscal and Individual Project Reports
If you haven’t seen their fiscal and project reports, look into acquiring a copy of their most recent reports. Many organizations will have these on their website. If you cannot find it there, you can request them by email.
6. Ask to See Their Business Plan
If you are still trying to choose between a few charities, you can ask to see their business plan. Dan Pallotta, a charity CEO, gave a Ted talk about choosing the right charity for you in which he says “Overall, for each charity I give to, I ask myself if I believe in their business model and if I feel they have a bold future ahead of them”. Look at a charity’s business plan and all the information you have gathered so far, there should be a charity that standouts above the rest. That is your charity.
7. Follow Your Charity of Choice on Social Media
Follow your charity on social media to see updates on their work and to be a part of their community. Continue to follow their progress, learn about them, and invest in them.
You can rest easy knowing that the charity you have chosen using these tips will be one that you feel connected to and can trust. Giving to a charity makes you a philanthropist, a person who seeks to benefit the welfare of others and that is a beautiful thing. Charities need donors like you to make their dreams a reality and will be forever grateful to you. A charity that is close to your heart and good at what they do, is a relationship that some people carry with them for their whole life.