As the end of the year nears, there are many organizations targetting you to help move their cause forward. Below are some tips when considering who to give:
1) Is the organization are a 501 (c)(3)?
This designation means that they are a non-partisan organization doing some sort of social betterment. They are a non-profit organization, meaning that the principal goal is not profit. One key feature of such organizations is that they have rules about how they can spend the funds. For example, no more than 25% of their funds should be going towards fundraising.
2) Does their mission statement match with your values?
Log on to their website and check out their mission statement, this is a statement which tells you what they are doing and why they do it. Does this match with what you believe in? Would contributing to this organization feel like something you would not tell others about?
3) Learn the facts about the organization from reputable sources.
As a researcher, I am often surprised when credible individuals talk to me about how an organization is "evil" and doing questionable practices, even when no credible source is reporting on these "facts." The internet is a vast place where so many people have created pieces of information, particularly about famous non-profits like the Red Cross and Salvation Army that simply are untrue. A quick and easy search on Snopes.com can help you determine if the information is fake. While Snopes.com isn't an infallible source, it provides links to "the sources," a key factor in verifying information. For example, I see this one circulating every couple of years:
As the holidays are upon us and this is a stressful time, take a quick moment to evaluate your giving. Giving to organizations is important, and you shouldn't wait for a "big company" to save the organizations that are doing the work you care about. According to research, individuals do the majority of giving to organizations that do humanitarian, community, and education work.