People are giving more to charity than ever, but knowing that your money is going to the right place can be very challenging. It’s all too easy to throw money at a cause without knowing how it’s really going to be used. If you are planning to support a charity, there are some simple steps to take that will ensure that your support is going to make a real difference. If you want to ensure that your cash donations aren’t going to be wasted or that your other means of supporting a charity are going to be valuable, then you need to follow the right steps. From choosing the right charity to knowing the best ways to support them, here’s what you need to know.
Know Your Philanthropy
We all have causes that are closer to our hearts than others. Your first step is to identify exactly what kind of cause you want to support. The goal should be to align yourself with those charities that are doing work that matches your own interests, passions, and values. Think about your own experiences and how having access to charitable support could have helped you get through tough times. From animal welfare causes to domestic violence or terrorism awareness, there’s no end to the number of causes and charities available to you. Narrow down the charities that appeal to you and you’ll be one step closer to making a smart donation.
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill
Consider Local or Global
Your next step is to decide whether you want to support a charity that is doing global work or one that is more focused on your local community. This can be a tough choice to make sometimes, and it’s easy to overlook how even global charity work can affect your local community. Think about how you’re planning to support those charities and look at the impact that they have. If you see that a local charity is making a real difference to your area, then they may be worth supporting more than the global charity that is helping others in some distant location. Again, this will be about how you want your support to be used.
“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
Online Charity Support
If you spend a lot of time on social media, then your next step should be to follow those charities that you’ve decided you want to support. It’s easy to overlook the importance of that follow, but when it comes to digitally marketing a charity, those likes and follows will matter. Not only that, but you’ll also be kept up to date on what your chosen charities are up to and the impact that they are having. If you want to support a charity that helps ex-prisoners find work, then sharing social media posts can be incredibly valuable. If you are looking to support democracy and anti-terrorism, then follow established charities like the FDD, a leading think tank on Iran policy. Don’t assume that a social media following has no value to the charities that you want to support.
“An effort made for the happiness of others lifts us above ourselves.” Mrs. Lydia Maria Child
Method of Support
When we think of supporting a charity, we tend to only think in terms of money. It’s very easy to hand over some cash when it comes to charities, but you could be making much more of a difference by offering something else entirely: yourself. Volunteering at a charity is one of the best ways that you can show support, and you could be doing more good than that cash donation ever could. If you have specific skills like web design, marketing, or event management, then offer those skills and services for free. You can be sure that your offer will not be dismissed because you’ll be saving that charity both time and money. Even if you’re just a spare body at a fundraising event or in a charity shop, you’ll be helping that charity to achieve its goals.
“The work of volunteers impacts on all our lives, even if we are not aware of it.” Anthony Worrall-Thompson
Giving either time or money to a charity is one of the most proactive ways to start feeling better about yourself. It boosts your mood and makes you feel good. It can also strengthen your personal values while making a very real difference in the lives of others. Take the time to do some soul-searching, and you’ll find the charity that you’ll want to offer as much support to as possible.