Charities are an excellent way to give back to a cause that you truly care about. Oftentimes, charities and other non-profit organizations reach out via email, phone calls, and social media posts asking for donations. 

While their efforts can be compelling and heartwarming, it’s sometimes difficult to know if they’re really the charity they say they are and how transparent they’re actually being about where you donation will be going. Because of this, it’s important to do your research to see if this is a charity you want to support. Here’s what you need to ask before donating to a charity:

How Effective Is This Charity?

It can definitely feel good to give back to those less fortunate and lend help to a worthy cause. However, how do you know your donation is going to affect a positive change to the cause you’re giving to? Judging a charity’s true impact on a worthy cause can be difficult to measure, but it’s essential to look for the charity’s specific accomplishments when it comes to spending and how they utilize the donations they receive. 

This information can be easily found find the charity’s website. You can also find this information or in the “outcomes” section of their annual report. If you’re looking up the effectiveness of a charity but they don’t publish an annual report or have no way of proving their claims of how they’re making a difference, then they are most likely not the charity you want to donate to. 

Should You Give A Little to Many or Make a Large Donation to One?

Many people struggle with deciding where they want to donate to. With so many worthy causes out there, it can be difficult deciding which is the most worthy. When deciding whether to make little donations to many charities or to just make one big one to a single charity, there are many considerations. Firstly, you might not be able to afford giving to many charities. Although it’s important ot give back, you shouldn’t donate outside your means. 

It takes time to research and evaluate charities, so it can also be difficult to find a group of ones that you trust to use your donation wisely. When you want your donation to make the largest impact long term, it’s best to give a recurring donation of about the same amount every year. This will help support the charity’s ongoing mission. 

Is it Better to Donate to Local Charities?

Many believe their donations are better given to the community around them so that they may see the positive change or impact for themselves. Oftentimes, local charities can also be a bit smaller than larger organizations so they may need more help. However, if you choose to give back outside of your community, that’s more than okay to do. It’s important to find a cause that you are most passionate about and finding charities that fit that passion, whether it be local or not.

An approach you can take, for example, if you’re passionate about feeding the hungry, you can donate to your local food drive. You can also give to a larger national or international organization whose goal is to feed many communities around the country or the world. It’s also good to be open-minded when it comes to donating, whether it’s local, national, or international. When you keep an open mind and broaden your charitable efforts, you’ll be able to make a bigger impact.