Here are some tips Search Kindly recommends before you take any action:
Be Informed and Identify your preferences
Do not simply follow the social media hype, keep yourself informed about the World’s challenges and get involved according to your own values. Ask yourself: “What is important to me?” – The environment? Education? Hunger? Animal welfare? Helping sick children? Where do you want to start, in your neighborhood, in Africa? How much time or money are you willing to volunteer and donate?
Research about the NGO you want to help
You should check the track-record of the NGO you want to help. Make sure the NGO is registered and that they address exactly the kind of challenge you want to support. Compare NGO’s that address the challenge you want to help, their mission and goals, check their websites and make sure they are doing the kind of work you want to be done.
- Will discuss their programs and finances.
- Don’t use pressure tactics.
- Are willing to send you literature about their work or direct you to a Web site.
- Will take “no” for an answer.
Avoid Telemarketeers and be careful with email solicitations
If you really want to help avoid professional fundraisers and never give your credit card details by the phone. Research the NGO and donate directly to them if you want.
Don’t send supplies
Most people want to send supplies as water and food. Unfortunately and for several reasons that kind of help isn’t the most efficient. By donating money to a NGO you will be much more helpful as NGO’s are often able to partner with companies to acquire large amounts of in-kind donations such as bottled water and new clothing. Instead of boxing up and sending your old clothing have a garage sale and turn your used goods into cash to donate.
Things to Watch for
- Some organizations raise money by using names similar to the names of well-known charities. Don’t be fooled by names that sound like names you have heard before.
- Not all organizations that sound like charities are charities. For example, some businesses calling to collect used clothes and furniture may be for-profit businesses.
- Never give out personal/financial information, such as your credit card number, over the telephone.
- Charitable donations should be made by a cheque payable to the charity, not in cash.
- Don’t be pressured to donate immediately. Be wary if a telephone solicitor offers to pick your money up immediately. If unsure, say no.
- Don’t feel pressure to donate to get a “free” gift. A gift can reduce the amount of your income tax deduction.
Do you want to get involved?