7 TIPS FOR CHOOSING A CHARITY
With the Australian government shaving $2.9 billion from its former foreign aid targets, now, more than ever, your charity dollar matters.
Fortunately, Australians are already a nation of givers – ranked third in the World Giving Index, we are a generous lot.
However, with all the worthy causes out there competing for our attention, how much time do we spend researching a charity and then, holding it accountable? How can we be sure that our kind-hearted donations are going towards helping the needy and not just staffing administrations or even perpetuating the problem itself?
I’ve compiled some tips for choosing a charity so you can make an informed contribution to really feel good about.
1. Do your research
Before choosing a charity, research, research, research!
If you are giving internationally, getting familiar with the political landscape of the region is a good idea to avoid supporting something unethical. You don’t have to do a thesis – just brush up on the defining features; civil war, economic downturn or natural disasters – all of these can play a key role in how aid is distributed within a nation.
In addition, consider the issue you are interested in and how your target charity tackles it. Ask yourself: Does this organisation help these individuals establish themselves, or does it encourage reliance and perpetuate the cycle of poverty?
2. Make sure your charity is listed
If you are giving domestically, the Philanthropy Australia website is a reputable source of links to recognised charities.
If you are giving to an overseas organisation, you will have to do your own research. Some countries have domestic lists of charities; others are far behind on this.
In these cases look for a well-presented website, preferably one that uses established methods of payment such as PayPal, and listed email addresses that do not bounce when you write to them!
Evidence of donor support from OECD governments is also a positive sign that this charity is recognised internationally.
3. Find your point of contact
Having a contact that can vouch for an organisation can be very helpful.
Finding such a contact may at first seem unlikely, but you might be surprised when you shake the tree just how many of your friends, family or acquaintances have knowledge relating to the cause you favour.
In-country experience or first-hand insight relating to the region you intend to support is invaluable.
4. Think Local
When most people think of the less fortunate, their minds go immediately to those abroad. However destitution and injustice exist right here within our borders too.
According to Homelessness Australia just over 2 million people (or one in 10 Australians), live in poverty today.
So why not look locally for charities that support Australians?
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