What is a good charity? Where should you donate?
Giving back is one of the best ways to find satisfaction in life, but you want to make sure you are giving to a reputable charity. Make sure every penny is going to good and not being wasted. After all, you work hard for your money.
Beware of scams
When your heart is in the right place, you may be more vulnerable to scams. So, when you are ready to donate to charity, it's best to do a bit of research first.
Sites like Go Fund Me try to vet the money seekers, however, they don't guarantee your money will be spent the way you were told it would be. Go Fund Me is a hugely popular platform, and many good people and good causes can be found on there, but the chance for fraud is fairly high.
It's also easier to get scammed by a fake charity when your familiarity is new or non-existent. Charities that pop up overnight and have no reviews or documentation are not a good place for you to donate to.
Use charity navigator
If you are wondering whether a charity is reputable or not, you can always check on charity navigator. This site offers vetted reviews of charities and guides you to your ideal place to donate.
You can search by name or category. Each charity is given a star ranking, a financial score, and a transparency score. Likewise, top charities usually sport a charity navigator badge on their site to indicate that they have been vetted and approved.
Funnily enough, you can even donate to charity navigator. Your money goes toward keeping the resource available to everyone.
Popular charities to try
Some charities are better known than others. Some have a long history of being a good place to donate because they use the bulk of their funds to bring about change. These top charities include
Ronald McDonald House Charities
American Kidney Fund
American Red Cross
Doctors without Borders
The Nature Conservancy
World Wildlife Fund
City of Hope
But there are so many charities in the world. You don't have to stick with the ones that are household names, just be mindful about doing research on your charity.
Local charities are often a great place to donate. The money is more likely to stay in and support your local community. For example, if your city has a nature center, a boys and girls club, or an arts council, you may want to donate to those.
My employer offers a direct donation option that transfers from my paycheck to the charity. It's a no-hassle way to donate routinely, and it's a small amount that I don't even notice. My personal favorites are my local nature center and The Nature Conservancy. However, I also donate from time to time to other charities, such as Heifer International, Pandemic of Love, and the International Rescue Committee.
Create your own opportunity
Although established charities are nice because they are already set up to make change, no one will be more diligent with your money than you. Therefore, if you have an idea for how to donate in a particular way, you should do so.
I was really moved by this recent story in People that detailed an American black woman donating black dolls to girls in an African orphanage. She felt it was important that those children had toys that looked like them. There was no charity in place to make this happen, so she took the initiative to do it herself.
If you have the time or drive to create your own charitable opportunity, you should definitely do it. Consider what you are passionate about. What do you want to change in the world? Who do you want to touch? We are more connected now than ever before, so it's easier to organize a charity and make a donation.