Give Back—How Do I Choose the Right Charity?
When choosing organizations to support, it is good to think about their impact on the world around you. That can include the big ball where we all live or the local or regional communities and churches that touch our lives daily. We can also support the industry associations that support our businesses. And don’t forget the educational institutions where our future will be “grown.” We can support environmental work, charities for food, shelter and healthcare, aid for underdeveloped countries, promotion of the arts and gifts to promote education and training.
One thing to remember is that support can be provided in more ways than hard cash. As companies we can share our resources with a chosen organization—
When a financial support decision is made, one way to be sure that you are supporting the best charity is to take the time to investigate the organization to be sure they are good stewards and are using their funding wisely. All are not created equally! As with most charitable endeavors, the satisfaction you derive is often linked to how hands-on you are with the organization. Getting involved—or seeing it in action for yourself—is a great way to see how they spend their money first-hand and an overall part of your own fulfillment as a giver. Here are some other tips on how to choose the right charity:
1. Know what you value.
Before you volunteer your time or open your checkbook it is important to clarify what it is you believe in, your personal and organizational core values. Think about what matters to you most and find a charity that will support your vision.
2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Charities are required to provide information about their programs and expenses. If you do not get adequate answers to your questions, do not give to the charity. Start with questions like these:
3. Make sure the charity is legitimate.
Be smart about where you donate your money. Do not donate money without checking to be sure the nonprofit is legitimate. There are a few ways to go about this:
4. Trust your instincts.
If you have doubts about the charity after your research, do not contribute. Instead, find another nonprofit that does similar work in which you feel comfortable making your donation.
Giving back is a wonderful thing. It is even better when you feel connected to the charity you are supporting. Get involved. Encourage your friends and family and your organization to get involved as well. After all, we are sharing this journey with one another and our path is connected with the world and all its inhabitants—today more than any other time in history.
My sister and her husband are looking for a non-profit charity that they can support and sometimes volunteer for. I thought you made an interesting point when you explained that people shouldn’t be afraid to ask an organization how their donation will be used. I’ll be sure to share this information with my sister so that they can find the right organization to support.