Many people choose this time of year to give to charity and organisations — which is so absolutely, amazingly wonderful! But not all organisations use their new found funds the same way. So for you, the beautiful readers of Thought Catalog, I have compiled five fantastical tips to make sure that your hard-earned money goes to the right places this Christmas:
1. Do your research
Don’t give your money away all willy nilly – do some research. Non-government organisations are required by law to published their financial records. This way you’ll know how much of your cash is going to the cause. Some organisations may make them hard to find, but that’s how you know you might not want donate to that charity.
2. Give without expecting anything in return
It’s part of our human nature to want something in return, and that is totally cool. But sometimes, we have to give without expecting anything else — especially when it comes to donating. When charities are working on also giving back to all of their donators, they’re not focusing on their real purpose. This is the reason why there are issues with sponsoring children – so much of the donations go towards the administration costs of forcing children to write to their sponsors and sending it off.
3. Give to the right projects
While giving food to the poor is wonderful, it is only a short-term band aid on the overall problem. When giving to charity, remember that long-term projects far outweigh short-term solutions. The best kind of overseas projects work with the people they are helping so that they can become self-sufficient. Projects that involve stimulating the economy and growing local businesses, long term water solutions (while employing locals) and education are my favourite to give to.
4. Make sure their ideals align with yours
Generally charities are very inclusive of different cultures because that’s the role of charities – to accept people. World Vision US earlier this year made a decision to hire Christians in same-sex marriages, and then two days later reversed that decision — and as such I would not donate them. World Vision Australia is a separate entity from World Vision US, and does support the LGBTI community.
5. Remember that there are others things to donate
Money is not the only thing you can donate of course! If you have quality second-hand goods you can donate them to your local op shop. More importantly, you can donate your time – not even just over Christmas.
If you want to know a bit more about how to help developing nations responsibly, then I would like the direct you to this amazing TED Talk — that is as insightful as it is funny.
When Giving To Charity This Holiday Season, Please Remember To Give Responsibly.