It’s Monday morning and as you reluctantly walk to work you stop by Starbucks to get yourself a coffee. While you list your toppings and preferences, you also add a chocolate muffin to your order. You didn’t really want one, but you found some extra change in your pocket and hey, it’s Monday morning, right? But what if instead of spending a little money every day on things that make no difference you could give them to someone who actually needs them? Supporting a local charity organization near you is a great way to give back to the community and help those who aren’t so lucky. What looks like a small effort to you means the world to groups of disadvantaged or impoverished individuals, so here’s how you can find the best charity to donate to:

Find a cause you care about

No matter where you live, NGOs will have established charity organizations supporting various causes. As much as we would love to help all of these, we don’t always have the time and money for this, so how do we choose just one? You can start by browsing your local charities on an online directory, so you know exactly which are authorized to function. From that list, choose a cause that resonates with you and that you are emotionally invested in. It can be anything, from a local pet shelter to a charity for orphans, cancer patients, disabled individuals or the elderly. The more familiar you are with the struggles that those communities are going through the more rewarding your contribution will feel. Or, if you don’t have a particular cause in mind, choose a charity you know nothing about. This will open your eyes to a social problem you didn’t know existed and help you meet some very special people.

 

Decide how you want to contribute

More often than not, charity organizations give people several ways to help. The main one of course is making a donation in money and that is indeed very appreciated, but even if you don’t make a lot of money yourself, you can still contribute. For example, some charities accept clothes, food or personal care products. Others focus on volunteering, encouraging other members of the community to spend time with disadvantaged members of society. For example, you can visit elderly people in the nursing home, help the disabled with daily chores or play with sick children to make their day better. You don’t necessarily have to make a financial donation. All help is welcome and you can make their day better just by being there.

 

Only contribute to charities who measure their progress

No one wants to put time, money and energy into a social cause and later discover that their contribution didn’t end up in the right place. That is why you should only contribute to well-established local charities that track their progress and can give you a clear annual report on how your money was used. Don’t expect them to solve the problem 100% - that is extremely difficult to do and we wouldn’t have charities if complex social problems could be solved in one year, but make sure that they’re sending the money where they promised. 

Published by Cynthia Madison