By Jeff Vilcinskas
Individuals gave $241.32 billion last year to charitable organizations across the globe. While that is a staggering number it will grow. As the internet continues to widen across the globe, it is capable of bringing new causes to individuals. As many new organizations are formed and looking for supports it leaves those wanting to give a little lost.
If you are wanting to give to an organization, this short guide will help put you on track to finding the perfect organization. Here are three steps for finding the perfect fit for your charitable donations.
What Is Your Passion?
While this may seem like an obvious starting point, many people tend to skip over this. They see a commercial or an advertising, and jump into any organization. If you are looking for an organization for the long term, choose something that you are passionate about. You want to feel good about the charities you are involved in. If you find something that is close to your heart, spirit, and beliefs, you are going to feel ten times better than a generic charity that was chosen as a tax deduction.
Start looking around your daily life, what would you like to see changed? Maybe there is an over population of cats in the area. Perhaps hunger and poverty are causing stress in your city. Use these as a springboard to finding a charity that could make a difference. Find something that is going to make you excited to send a monthly or yearly check in.
While you can blindly jump into any charity, it is something that is not highly recommended. Just as you might ask your friends for a recommendation on a babysitter or a restaurant, you will want to the same with a charity. Doing research will give you the assurance that you have chosen the right path.
There are two main reasons that you want to research a charity. First, you need to make sure it is not a scam, and secondly that their beliefs will align with yours. Typically you do not want to think of charities scamming anyone. However, it is very prevalent, especially after a natural disaster or tragedy. After Hurricane Katrina or 9/11, many organizations spread across the continent asking for donations. Unfortunately, many of these were fly by night operations and those donations were lost. Research is good to realize if a charity has your best interest in mind. Ask questions that are important to you. Find out what they have accomplished and what their long term goals are. How realistic are they and how well have they been spending money on a yearly basis?
Once you are certain the foundation is grounded in reality and their mission statement follows your beliefs, you are one step closer to the perfect charity.
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Locally or Globally?
Lastly, how far do you want your donation to travel? Are you looking to do good on a local level or do you prefer further reaches? For many individuals, they got excited seeing their money used in their own backyard. This may be seeing neighborhoods transformed and families not going hungry. Not only does this keep you giving, it keeps you more invested in the charity. Dealing with local charities gives you closer access to the administrators and board members. Knowing your charity is only a car drive away gives the ability to receive first hand information.
If you prefer to donate on the global level, you may feel as if you are truly changing the world. These donations may help areas that are in desperate need for any monetary help. You have it in your ability to choose life or death for families across the globe. While you may not see these results as immediately as you would in your local neighborhood, they are very profound. For example, in 1980 smallpox was eradicated across the globe, while the worldwide death toll from malaria dropped greatly. These are the worldwide changes you can expect when donating on a global scale.
While you may think that any problem is too large for anyone to handle, you can begin to make a difference. If you began to give just 10% of your income to help distribute mosquito netting across various countries, you have the possibility of saving over 90 lives in your lifetime! There is no charity that is perfect for everyone. You need to find what is important to you and decide how you want to help. Remember it is not all about money either, time can be just as valuable. All that matters is you take action and find a charity that you are comfortable supporting for the long term.