If you are planning on donating, whether it is time or money, you are going to want to know what you are contributing to. You want to make sure you are choosing the right charity or organization to give your contribution. Don’t let the goodness in your heart blind what is in your head. Make sure your charities are reputable.
The first step to take if you are planning on donating, is to look into your own values and what you believe in. Find what is important to you and whether you want to help locally, regionally, nationally, or even internationally. Once you have a concept of the charity you are looking for, the search begins. When researching charities, look for their mission statements and see if they match with your values. You can start eliminating organizations that don’t meet your criteria and narrow down the organizations that you will be evaluating.
The first thing you will want to check, is a charity’s legitimacy. If you can’t find the charity in a database, you could ask for a letter of determination or ask to see the official listing in a directory. The listing is for more faith-based organizations. Now that you have found out they are legitimate, check if they are reputable. Evaluate if the organization has measurable goals and see if they use mark their achievements with concrete proof. Reputable organizations will discuss finances and programs and are willing to send you the literature about what they do.
Once you have found a few charities that are what you are looking, are legitimate, and reputable, compare the charities. If they’re all the same type of work, comparing charities could help you determine who needs the contributions the most. You can also compare their finances and how much of your contribution will actually be going to the mission and what will be covering their operating costs.
After your research, evaluating, and comparing, you are ready to choose your charity. Trust your instincts and if you have doubts about a charity, don’t donate. Taking this time makes sure our contribution is something you can feel good about and something you can contribute to more than one time. Charity can start to change your life as much as it can others.