Choosing the Right Charities

Who should get your donation dollars?

Before you decide to support a particular charity, you should first determine if it's right for you. You work hard for a living, so whether you're donating money or time, it's important that the charity reflects who you are as a person.

On the surface, most charities appear to support good causes. As a result, it becomes difficult to make a decision.

Here are some questions to think about before making your decision:

  • Is the charity able to communicate what it is?

    The best charities know exactly what they want to accomplish and have a plan to achieve it. They don't just talk a good game but are able to follow through and execute their plans to perfection.

  • Does it have goals, both short-term and long-term?

    Goals tell you whether you are successfully implementing your plan. If there isn't a quantifiable result to measure, you'll never know if you've reached your objective or not.

  • Can the charity demonstrate past success in meeting its objectives?

    It's not enough to have a mission. For the *charity[Philanthropy]to continue building support for its cause, it must show tangible proof that it is making a difference. We're talking real results that positively impact the people in need of their help.

  • Does the charity operate sensible programs?

    If your charity's mandate is to serve the local community yet all their programs are aimed at a national audience, the chances are good they're wasting a great deal of time and money on the wrong things. Well-run charities should have a laser-like focus, providing programs that make an immediate difference to the communities they serve.

  • Is the charity trustworthy?

    Good charities want their donors and volunteers to feel confident about the work they do. No organization can sustain itself if it can't be trusted by the very group it relies on to continue helping people.

  • Can you make a long-term commitment?

    It may seem like the wrong question to ask when evaluating a charity, but for the relationship to work effectively, you must be equally committed to the cause. The charity needs to know it can count on you to be there through thick and thin. Without that assurance, planning becomes more difficult.

Take the time to answer these questions and you'll feel more comfortable about your ultimate decision.

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