Donations to charity organizations are a worthy ordeal. Yet, you should beware of charities that waste money on uncalled-for causes. Whichever organization you choose should support a cause you believe in. So, before you donate your money, take an extra step to find an organization that puts your donation to good use. Here are characteristics to look for in charity organizations.
Go for an organization that is ready to explain how it uses its donations to the public. For example, transparent charities disclose the identities of the board members and how salaries for executives are set. Other indicators of transparency include regular audits and disclosure of financial statements. With detailed clarity, you can tell the percentage of your donation that goes directly to charitable activities.
Transparency builds trust between you and your chosen charity organization to encourage you to donate more. Most charity organizations are competent and trustworthy. Unfortunately, the few that plant doubts in you might make you a one-time visitor. So, to keep up the spirit of donation, find an organization where you feel settled. That way, you’ll be free to make a long-term commitment.
Charity organizations must register with the state’s charity regulator in 41 states. Registration ensures you don’t donate to illegitimate causes. You also stand to get corporate and personal income tax credits with receipts from a registered charity organization.
If you want to donate to a charity organization in any of the 41 states, confirm registration from the state database. But don’t turn away too fast if your chosen organization isn’t registered yet. Instead, ask the relevant authorities. If, for example, a small charity has to outsource the registration process, your donation will be a big step towards their needed compliance.
3. Operational Areas
Charity organizations operate in different classifications, but the widest is global versus local. If you prefer to donate to people within your community, confirm whether your chosen organization is local. Still, state boundaries shouldn’t limit your donation’s reach. You can save or brighten the lives of vulnerable people thousands of miles away.
Charity organizations have made better ways to offer hassle-free international support. Thus, distance and boundaries no longer limit the community or locality that receives your donation. If you don’t have preferences on which people benefit from your donation, locality shouldn’t be a big concern.
4. Adherence to the Set Purpose
Charity organizations have different goals and missions. Such include the construction of schools, food relief, and support for war-stricken areas. So, get a clear picture of how your donations will get used. For many efficient organizations, donations that go towards overhead should be between 5% and 35%. That leaves between 65% and 95% of all funds to go directly towards the cause.
A reputable charity organization draws a line between general and specific purposes. For instance, if the general goal is to fight COVID 19, an excellent organization specifies the weapons used in the fight. The specific goals in such a case could be:
- To fund research for treatment
- To finance vaccinations for vulnerable groups
- To deliver test kits in hard-to-reach areas
- To build primary schools for children who do not have schools to attend
- To build schools in Cambodia
- To build schools in Uganda
- To save young girls at risk for human trafficking
Be wary of an organization that gives a vague purpose without specific goals.
5. Monitored Operations
Reputable charity organizations ought to have board members to oversee operations. Monitored operations don’t state a lack of trust for charity organizations. Instead, it’s a way to foster transparency. Besides, you might want to follow up and gauge the effectiveness of operations, a task that a dedicated team can perform well.
Furthermore, ask about the background of the board members. Anyone set to oversee activities must be a credible member of the society. If you trust your donations to a monitored organization, you get accountabilities for all activities.
Charity donations are an excellent way to give back, especially if you don’t have enough time to volunteer. Yet, due diligence is paramount to boost your confidence and channel the money to the right cause. If you would like to build a school in Cambodia, build a school in Uganda, save young girls from human trafficking, or help Native American students on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, contact the Teach Them to Fish Foundation.