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:
- Is your organization for-profit or nonprofit?
- If you partner with a for-profit, how much are you paid by that organization in exchange for the donated items you collect?
- What happens to my donations once I put them in a bin or drop them off to your location?
- How will my donation to your organization help my local community?
- How much of each dollar that you spend goes towards your programs and services?
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.