With so many worthy causes out there, how do you choose a charity deserving of your support? While we all want to help people who are in need, we can’t very well give to every charity organization that is looking for donations. By reflecting on the things that are truly close to your heart and doing research,you can better choose the right charity for your money or non-monetary donations.
It’s time to get self-reflective. Consider your values and beliefs. Is there any one charity that is close to your heart? If you are an animal lover, do you want your money going to sponsor animals up for adoption or maybe to help pay the vet bill of an animal whose owners can’t afford its treatment? Do you know a breast cancer survivor who inspired you to support this cause? Almost everyone will have a cause that is more close to their heart than others. Once you narrow down your interests, you can choose a couple organizations that deal in that area.
Get the Info
Once you narrow it down, it’s important to gather as much information as you can. While most charities offer promotional literature that will explain their organization to you, often times it doesn’t give you all the information. Take some time to research what the organization actually does. If the money goes to help the children, how does it help them? Do they filter it into after school programs or to provide meals to underprivileged families? Do they build playgrounds or provide free child care to needy families? There are many reports that are accessible to the public, including meeting minutes,activities of the organization, and future plans. Gather all the information you can on your target organizations and make an educated decision.
If you know what’s important to you and simply can’t decide who is worthy of your donation, there is help. There are charity listing services, such as Pickingacharity.com, that will choose a charity based on your values and interests. These charities have been pre-screened and provide you with information on what they do and what causes they support.
Let’s say that you want to help children with Downs Syndrome, but you also have a soft spot for animals and want to help women get away from abusive relationships. While you may not have enough money to donate to a handful of these charities, there is still an option for you. There are non-profit support organizations that will disperse your donations among the charities they work with. United Way and Earth Share are just two examples of these support organizations that allow you to cover a wide range of deserving charities with your donations.
With so many people, animals, and causes to support, it’s hard to choose just one outlet for your charitable dollars and donations. There are many options available for choosing the right cause, and if that isn’t enough, there are organizations that will do the choosing for you. Either way, it’s always important to give and no matter where your money goes, know that it’s always appreciated.
Greg Christy writes about charitable giving and financial advice. He stressed the importance of living within your means and monitoring your credit at www.creditreport.org. A good credit rating can save you thousands of dollars.