When people choose to donate to charities, they do so because they want to impact the world. In other words – these people want to do good with their money. As such, it is essential to do one’s due diligence and research charities beforehand.
Unfortunately, several scandals have come out over the years to cause alarm – and explain the need for this research. It is no longer safe to assume that any charity is worth funding. However, that just makes it all the more important to find and fund the good ones out there.
Choosing Your Impact
The first step to finding and supporting a charity is to decide what sort of impact you’re hoping to make on the world. Are you looking to defend animal rights? Help veterans battle hunger and/or homelessness, create ease of access to education, or something else? Answering these questions will start you on the path you need.
From there, it’s time to find a list of charities that interest you. They can all follow a particular niche, or they can be all over the place if your interests are more generalized than not. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to donating.
The next step requires some research. Now that you have a list (large or small) of charities you’re interested in, it’s time to take a deeper look at each one of them. Start by reviewing their initiatives, policies, and their commitment to the cause.
During this step, it is crucial to find out how transparent the organization is, especially in regards to how donations and funds are handled. How much of that money is getting spent on upkeep instead of the cause you’re hoping to support?
There are specific sites out there that can help make this process easier. Check out GuideStar, CharityNavigator, CharityWatch, and GiveWell. These sites break down the transparency of an organization, how their funds are managed, and even their tax information.
Donating cash is not the only way to help a charity of your choice. Countless organizations around the globe are in desperate need of volunteers. Volunteering costs nothing – except your time.
If you are short on cash but still want to help, this can be the ideal avenue. Additionally, it can provide you with further insight into the organization, which may help you decide how much of your money should go towards their cause.