The fact that you have a giving spirit is certainly admirable! There are so many people who need your help. And wanting to contribute to those less fortunate is a great start.
But how do you determine which charities to assist? What factors should you consider in the selection process?
Are you raring to go, but don’t know where to start? If so, this is the philanthropist’s guide to selecting meaningful charities.
Consider these guidelines to easily choose charitable causes to support:
1. Leave your checkbook in your bag. Writing a check is the last step in your search for meaningful charities, rather than the first step. When it becomes about the money, it’s easy to lose focus on the mission.
- It’s true that most charities need financial assistance. But try to focus on finding one that you can commit to for years to come. It’s easy to give your dollars when you’re not connected emotionally.
- Be cautious of charities that ask for money upfront. The first mission of any charity should be to educate interested persons on its purpose.
2. Determine what matters most. Everywhere you turn, there’s somebody or some organization in need. While you’d love to help everybody, you just can’t. What matters most to you personally?
- Are you interested in helping orphans in Africa or mistreated, homeless animals? Decide which charity is most important to you. At that point, you can narrow down a specific selection.
- Is your choice of charity something that your entire family can be a part of? Sharing something like this with the special people in your life is a good way to bond!
3. Consult the charity’s website. Once you’ve narrowed down a list, research is your next step. Dig into the charity’s website to see what they’re really about.
- Research is the name of the game when choosing a charity! Sadly, there are many organizations that falsely use the name of charity to cover up their embezzlement schemes.
- Verify the operating address and phone number. Sometimes you just never know!
- Understand how they use your donations and time to benefit those they are assisting.
4. Review external statistics. Avoid just relying on what the charity’s website tells you. Look at external statistics as well. Outsiders can paint a more accurate picture of how the donations are disbursed.
- Seek out organizations that provide reliable statistics on charities. These stats include how the funds are disbursed, how many kids are helped, and so on.
- Charities that don’t show up on external sites are questionable. If that’s the case, move on to the next one on the list.
5. Balance donation with time. There’s always time to help someone in need. However, it’s also possible to overdo it and neglect other aspects of your life. It makes sense to choose a charity that allows you to balance financial donations with your time.
- Choose a charity that allows you the time to handle your personal day-to-day responsibilities. Although charities aren’t just for your “spare time,” you’ll need to sensibly fit them into your schedule.
- Choose a charity with standard monthly donations so it’s easier to account for the contribution.
Everybody’s philanthropic journey is unique and personally meaningful. This guide will help you structure and streamline your approach.
What’s important at the end of the day is being able to help others. Find a charitable cause that’s close to your heart and dedicate yourself 100%.