How to Pick a Charity that is Meaningful to You
Some ideas for choosing a charity on Giving Tuesday
Today is Giving Tuesday. This day continues the trend of widely recognized shopping events such as “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday,” except Giving Tuesday begins the charitable season, when many people focus on their end-of-year giving.
With so many great and well-deserving charities out there, how do you choose one that is meaningful to you? For example, this year, Saladmaster became a national sponsor of the American Diabetes Association’s Together We Can Stop Diabetes® movement. A lot of thought went into that decision. It’s a mission we believe in, and it’s an organization that makes people's lives better through education and advocacy.
Here are some ideas for choosing a charity on Giving Tuesday:
1. Go with what you know.
It’s the same as investing in the stock market. You should support an organization you trust and are familiar with. Donating your time and money means more when you have a personal connection with the cause—maybe it’s through your church or faith community, or maybe your family has long supported an issue close to your heart. But if you cannot think of a particular charity that directly affects you or a loved one…
2. Make a list of issues that you care about.
Number them in order of importance to you. While certain issues will always stand out on a global scale, smaller, local issues still need support from people who care deeply about such causes. Chances are, there’s a charity or non-profit that exists for that cause. (And if not, maybe you should be the one to start it?)
3. Do your research.
Once you have your list, start googling! Visit the organization’s website. Read the mission and vision statement. Look for testimonials from people who have been impacted by the organization. You should also do a “news” search on Google (or whatever search engine you prefer) to see if anything has happened recently that may impact your impression of the organization.
4. Reach out to them directly.
If you have any concerns, it’s a good idea to reach out to the organization. You can email or call them. Someone on the other end should be willing to answer any questions you may have. If they are local, you might even want to visit in person. Forming a personal relationship with the charity will help you stay involved.
5. It’s okay to have more than one charity.
You can focus your energy on one charity, or you could divide your attention among several well-deserving groups. It’s really up to you. Even if you are only able to donate a small amount, many organizations not only track how much money they raise, but also how many people have donated. These numbers are used in their reporting to garner additional funding from larger philanthropic groups.
We hope you are able to participate in Giving Tuesday, and find an organization during this holiday season that you want to support. To quote Gordon Hinckley, "The best antidote I know for worry is work. The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired. One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served."
And in serving a great cause, you may find greater happiness!