To Donate: To give money or goods for a good cause, (for example to a charity).
Donating your old stuff is an easy way to get that feel-good vibe that inevitably comes with helping those less fortunate than you are. But have you really ever given thought to which charity to choose?
Some folks just choose those tried and true nonprofit groups that are well known nationally for helping their causes. Others choose smaller, local groups because the cause is near and dear to their hearts. And yet others simply choose whichever charity group is most convenient, on their way to work or offer some sort of incentive like a coupon. No matter which you choose, you’re helping the community, right? Well if I told you “yes,” my nose would grow like Pinocchio because the answer is a firm “no.” If you’re not careful, your perfectly well-intentioned donation might be going to an organization that’s actually a for-profit corporation.
To make sure to avoid this, always ask a business/organization the following five questions:
A quick Google search, and I mean quick because I have the attention span of squirrel that’s had an energy drink, will pop up a few informative sites. They talk about how much a legitimate nonprofit spends on their programs and services. If 66% or 66 cents of every dollar they earn is spent on their programs and services, then they’re legit and a worthy nonprofit. But if it’s lower than that, they may not be.
There are also sites out there that rate nonprofits for their ability to provide for the community they serve. Those are charitywatch.org, charitynavigator.org and give.org just to name a few.
Now the final question to ask yourself: Who will you pick now that you’re armed with the knowledge to weed out the not-so-nonprofit groups?
About The Author
Melissa is a thrifty shopper who knows the importance of supporting local charities. She has been the community relations coordinator with Goodwill Industries of New Mexico since 2013 and takes pride working for an organization that’s part of the community. Melissa knows how to organize, DIY and weed through all the info and ideas the web has to offer.
11/6/2020 09:38:25 am
Thanks for sharing how if an organization spends 66% of its donations or more on its programs then they are legit. I think a lot of people are skeptical of donating to a charity because of this. It'd be nice if charities would display how they use the donated money so people will trust them more.
12/6/2020 04:44:57 pm
I totally agree when you shared that it is important to carefully identify if the organization that you are going to donate to is non-profit or for-profit. This is to ensure that your well-intentioned donations will be going to the right party that is going to help the community that is going through a tough time. My wife and I just discussed the other day that we would love to donate some of our money to the people who are in the dire need of help as we want to have a meaningful life. I will keep in mind to ask some questions before giving to the charity.
1/22/2021 08:15:33 am
It really helped when you said it's important to do a background check of a charity organization. Last week, in my girlfriend's workplace, they started to organize a fundraiser for a charity. They're in the planning stage, and they're not sure about who to donate to. I think going through the history of an organization ensures you're donating to the right cause. I think my sister could use this information. I appreciate you helping me learn more about what to ask a charity organization.
1/22/2021 12:33:55 pm
So glad it was helpful! Thanks for the comment!
1/27/2021 09:56:53 am
I really like your suggestion to ask how our donation helps the local community directly when choosing a charity. I want to find a local infant charity to donate to because I was talking to a friend and learned how big of a problem child abandonment is in our city. Thanks for teaching me what questions to ask to find a charity I feel comfortable donating to!
6/16/2021 03:10:49 am
Probably the most important thing for donors is aligning the causes they give to with their own values, passions and interests.
8/31/2021 06:27:20 am
I'll be sure to ask every charity I want to donate to if it is nonprofit or not. I don't want to donate and end up lining someone else's pocket. My donations should be for people that truly need it to survive.
4/11/2022 06:09:04 am
I think it's indeed essential to ask the organization you are donating to if they are for-profit or nonprofit. My coach friend wants to donate to a college sports team charity. I should share these tips with him so he can select the right organization that which he is most connected.
6/23/2022 04:54:15 pm
Thanks for possting this
3/9/2023 02:38:57 pm
It was helpful when you said to ask them what happens to your donations. My parents were at my house last night for dinner, and my dad talked about how they want to start donating to charities this year. I'll pass this information along to them once they find programs they want to donate to.
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