It is ingrained in us from a very early age to think about others. While we tend to do a good job as we get older when it comes to taking care of our family and community, we can do better when it comes to charity. Many people do give a portion of their salary to charities. It is a good idea, however, to dig in deep and find a charity or charities to support with money and our time.
There are a lot of charities to choose from and some are doing better at getting their money and support to those that need it than others. This means it takes some time and effort to pick out the right charity. In this article, we will go over plenty of things to know before settling on the right charity to get behind.
What interests you?
Everybody has passions about things in life. It is natural to be more interested in things that pertain to these passions including charities. For instance, if you are somebody who just loves children and gets sad thinking about vulnerable kids being mistreated then finding a charity that deals with child trafficking is going to be a good fit.
This is a good opportunity to do something that will impact the life of a child in a very dramatic and positive way. Maybe your passion is animals, in which case you can find some way to help abandoned animals get adopted or stop the slaughter of endangered animals.
There is a charity that is going to be a good fit for just about anything you find gets your activist inside you awakened. There are even crossover types of charities that you can find lots of ways to support.
If you love kids and also love sports then finding a charity that helps kids through getting them involved in sports is something that you could easily get behind in terms of money and personal time.
Give time as well as money
Of course, charities rely on a lot of money to be able to operate and make a difference in the lives of the people and programs that they are trying to make a difference with. What many charities need is your time and expertise. They are desperate for people to volunteer so they can have more things get done without busting their budget to do so.
If you have something that you are an expert in then use that as a way to give back. If you are an accountant, volunteer some time to help disadvantaged people do their taxes or some other way to get them financial help.
If you love kids and have the means, become a foster parent and take in kids as they are sent through the system while waiting for their parents to get to a place where they can take care of them again.
Everybody has something that they can give with their time even if they feel like they have no particular skills to share with others. There are retired women with grown grandkids that volunteer to sit in the ICU in maternity hospitals and snuggle with the newborns that are attached to machines.
Anybody can volunteer at a soup kitchen and help distribute food to those that need a hot meal.
Do due diligence
Unfortunately, not all charities are the same. Some are very good and others have a less than stellar track record for helping with their mission. One of the biggest factors is money and how it is distributed. Many charities are very famous and have a strong brand only to reveal that a small fraction of the money they raise actually makes it to do its intended work.
You’ll need to dig in and research the charities that you’re interested in to find out how the money they raise is spent. There are nonprofit organizations that give charities a rating based on a number of criteria with their finances being a major one.
Unfortunately, some of the worst offenders are charities that have to do with children, animals, or veterans as it is easy to prey on people’s emotions. Be extra aware of this if you plan to give money to one of these types of charity organizations.
Also, look for research that has been done into what the charity purports to do. There are some that use unorthodox methods that are simply not backed up by science. If you support a charity like this then you could be contributing to more harm being done by their mission than good.
Many of the big charities that do work all over the country or the globe have various ways to raise money and don’t have any issues with donations. The ones that generally need the most help are the small ones that work in a small area.
If you really want to make a difference then find those small charities that work within your community and find ways to support them. You can see a difference more immediately when you choose to help local charities. Since these charities don’t have the resources for outreach on a big scale, the amounts that locals can give will make a bigger difference and allow them to follow through with their mission.
Don’t let the confusion that surrounds picking a charity be a barrier to donating your money or time. These organizations need your help and you can make a difference in the world by following through and giving.