We all want to do our bit to improve the world. It’s human nature to see the suffering around us and want to help. But whether you set up a monthly standing order to a charity or decide to do a sponsored run, you need to choose a charity organisation to support. Making that choice isn’t always straight forward. When you donate, you want to know your money is being to it’s maximum. So what is the best charity to donate to? On this blog, we’ve been lucky to hear from some very experienced charity runners. And I’ve put together some of their thoughts and advice on choosing the best charity for you to support.
What is the Best Charity to Donate to?: Isn’t it a personal thing?
The obvious choice of charity is to find something that is close to your heart. Unfortunately most of us have been touched by sickness and illness among our friends and family.
I always ask our featured runners what is the best charity to donate to? And personal experience played a big part in their choice. Whether it was cancer research, or children’s leukaemia it’s logical to go with something close to home.
Of course, unless a cause is focused on some rare condition, you will find hundreds of difference organisations. Let’s take a look at how you can choose the best charity to donate to.
Searching for Charities
How you go about searching for a charity will depend largely where you are. For example in the US you can use anyone of a large number of directories to find charities in your area.
These directories tend to go by IRS information and give you access to a charities financial records etc. Charity Navigator is a great start point.
The best thing is to then make up a list of potential charities that you can support.
Your next step is to pick the best off of your list. This is a choice made from the set up of the charity, their impact, and their overall feel.
Overheads vs Impact
As pointed out in one of our previous interviews, a key thing to look for is just how much of a charity organisation’s revenue goes to donations.
The logic is that if a charity has low overheads then it can give higher percentages of it’s income to the people who really need it.
Indeed, such groups as the smile train boast admirably low expenses compared with how much money they raise. This is undoubtedly a good thing as it shows an efficient organisation.
However, the fixation with the overheads of non-profit groups is misleading. Any non-profit group needs to invest to grow their operations and employ the people with the best skills. Dan Pellotta’s TED talk gives greater insight into this.
The best advice here would be to contact charity organisations individually and finding out first hand what kind of impact they are having. What are their plans for the future? etc.
What’s the best charity to donate to? Some things to look out for
Of course before you hand over your hard earned cash you want to find out if an organisation is legitimate. Follow these tips.
- Use the organisations already mentioned above to check the background of a charity. You can also check out Guide Star, Charity Watch, and BBB Wise Giving Alliance. If you’re based in the UK this will help.
- Never give your credit card number over the phone of you’re not sure. Most reputable organisations should have secure payment systems.
- Never trust a charity that claims “100% of donations go to the needy”- that’s impossible.
- Also be careful when donating through text- make sure it’s a secure system.
- Finally just go with you instinct. If it doesn’t feel right, then don’t donate.
So I hope this article gives you a bit more insight in finding the answer to what charity is the best to donate to. Have fun giving and even running for charity.