Find Charities That Do The Most Good

charityAmerica is home to 2.3 million nonprofits, and has by far the largest nonprofit sector in the world. And the billions of dollars of money that Americans donate to these charities every year certainly makes a difference in the world.  But just as we want to maximize our investments when seeking personal gain, we want to get the most positive change for our buck when we donate.  That can be a challenge, as an article in Daily Finance reports, and many have trouble juggling their desire to help and the desire to know how to maximize their impact.

Making your donation count means not simply reacting to emotional appeal, but taking the time to determine where your money can do the most good. There are three primary facets one can look at to grade a charity: financial performance, governing practices, and its results.

Sandra Miniutti is the marketing vice president and chief financial officer for Charity Navigator, an organization that rates more that 7,000 charities on their transparency and accountability. She encourages potential donors to do their research and ask probing questions.

“Does the charity have a diverse board keeping an eye on things? Sufficient rainy day funds for when things get tough? A set of ethical best practices?” are just a few of the questions that Miniutti says can be helpful for potential donors to ask.  Ultimately, she says that a proven, verifiable track record of positive results should be available in an organization’s annual report. Case studies presented without context should be viewed with skepticism.

In dire circumstances, such as natural disasters, it can be natural for a donor to simply go with one’s gut for the sake of expediency. In cases like this, it is best to be prepared. Know ahead of time what an organization’s emergency response has been in the past. This will help to determine whether this charity is going to be effective in the event of a new disaster.

“Take the time to find out causes you’re really passionate about and do the research before making a donation,” Minuitti said. “Don’t wait for a charity to call you on the phone or stop you outside a supermarket.”

Head over to Daily Finance to read the original article.

Ross Sanner

Ross Sanner is an educational professional who serves as the Director of Institutional Advancement at the Orme School of Arizona. He is also involved in charitable initiatives, and loves exploring the outdoors!

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