Want to Give? How to Choose the Right Charity
There are so many charities in Canada, it is hard to choose which one to give your hard-earned dollar to. Perhaps you want to organize a fundraiser, but you want to know what charity is a “good” charity (as in, they won’t take your money and run!). Using a resource like canadahelps.org, you can locate charities that are not only in line with your values but that are legitimate and transparent.
Here are some other tips that can help you to narrow down your search:
It’s amazing how much information is on the web. And it’s equally amazing how good Google is at helping you find that information. Search on the name of the nonprofit and/or the nonprofit’s leaders. You’ll see pretty quickly if you should be skeptical of their mission or proud of it.
Try to forget the horror stories you’ve heard
Most of us can name a charity that’s been in the news for having an executive embezzle money. But one bad apple doesn’t spoil the bunch. The very fact that it makes a big story shows that the occurrence is quite rare. The overwhelming number of charities are run by good, well-meaning people. So learn from the bad stories but don’t get paranoid and weird about the charity you want to support.
Do a gut check
Sometimes we can just sense that something’s off even after you’ve done all the homework. Listen to that nudge. If you can’t make it go away, it may be wise for you to look for another charity.
Talk to your friends
This probably should be first. But your friends may have heard of the charity or know people you can check with. And in our social media saturated world, you can cast a much wider net with your questions.
You’ll also need to decide what kind of giver you want to be. Do you want to give a little bit to a lot of charities? Or do you want to focus on 2 or 3 so you can have a larger impact? Do you want to give to start up charities or well established ones? Do you prefer giving in your country or internationally? Should your faith community get the majority of your generosity?
It’s totally up to you. It’s your money. You get to decide how you give.
Don’t be afraid to change your mind. You don’t have to keep giving to a charity year after year. If a charity doesn’t treat you right, it’s ok to move on. That’s why initially giving to a broad range of charities can help. You can quickly learn about how they treat donations and donors. How they treat you can tell you a lot about what they value.
Whatever you do, please give. Charities have a lot of room for improvement, but they are still more efficient with their money than the government. And giving can be an incredibly rewarding addition to your life.
With files from Marc A. Pitman, FundraisingCoach.com