Charitable organizations are a critical part of our society. They count on people like you and me for support. There are various ways to research charitable organizations. Here are some things you should consider.
Aligned with Own Values
Remember, you’re not directly benefiting from the charity. You must be motivated to give, ideally long term. By choosing to align with a charity with your values, you create engagement with a cause. You’ll do more research or feel better and it’ll feel more intentional. In the future, it might even increase your involvement.
For example, if you’re particularly concerned about women’s rights in Africa, there are charities dedicated to it. You could follow the success of their projects as time goes on.
Reflect On the Past Year
Take an afternoon and spend some quiet time thinking and journaling. Maybe you were greatly affected by the recent racial protests. Or perhaps a neighbor is afflicted by a certain illness and you want more money dedicated to research.
If you’re directly somehow related to the cause, your giving will seem more meaningful. You’ll get more out of it and you’ll find the experience more rewarding.
Local Versus Global
This is not an easy decision to make. Some people like to donate to big charities whose aims are global. They do great things, like protect the Amazon rainforest or provide mosquito nets to the impoverished. Often a small amount of money can go a long way.
On the other hand, some people prefer a local charity. You affect people part of your community and can make a huge impact.
Which one you choose is purely a personal choice. There is no correct answer.
Vet and Research
There are many websites, such as guidestar.org and charitynavigator.org, that rate large charities. You can see their financial health and level of transparency and accountability.
They do the heavy lifting for you. You don’t have to crawl through tax filings or governance documents. Often, an easy-to-understand rating system is available.
Some charities spend small fortunes on fundraising efforts and administrative costs. This means your hard-earned money doesn’t serve the beneficiaries. Be wary of charities that don’t spend much on program expenses.
There are a plethora of choices for charitable organizations to donate to. Research them wisely.