Giving Made Simple

Source | Suraphat Nuea-on

Source | Suraphat Nuea-on

Giving to a charity is a very honorable thing to do in life. It feels good to be able to make a difference no matter how big or small that contribution may be. But, it can be intimidating choosing a reputable charity that speaks to you. Not to mention the thousands of organizations to give to, it can be overwhelming. Here are some tips to ease the process so that you can donate with confidence and peace of mind:

1. Consider smaller charities

Look up places to donate online and you may be directed to well-established and large organizations like UNICEF and the American Red Cross. While most of these organizations are renowned worldwide, they tend to be less transparent about where the money goes to. They are more likely to forward the money to less cost-effective programs like disaster relief efforts than to public health.

In fact, it appears that your money is harder to trace due to agendas lead by large governments and big funders. Research reasonably smaller charities and look for transparency so you know exactly where your money goes to.

2. Call on the Charity Guide

Wouldn’t it be nice if you can have access to someone who can meticulously recommend a charity for you? You are in luck! GiveWell is a non-profit organization that is devoted to finding and evaluating superior charity organizations. They perform assessment and produce in-depth analysis so you know where the charity’s budget is going to. Their top five charities to give this year:

What I like about GiveWell is that they back up the underdogs, especially those organizations that are underfunded and have a track record for using the additional funding effectively. While you are free to make your own contribution choices, check out GiveWell for their awesome insights and resources.

3. Give to others Abroad

If you want to make a huge impact with your giving dollar and/or time, consider giving abroad. Back in college, I came across an awesome program that allows volunteers to travel abroad to build communities, teach English and/or empower new cultures. It was called I-to-I and was so intrigued by the countless places to volunteer for. But, I didn’t pursue it due to my academic commitments but it always stay in my mind.

Years later, another similar program known as Give Volunteer, takes on the idea that I-to-I had. It gives volunteers an opportunity to immerse themselves in a new culture while ensuring sustainability to global communities. So, if you are a quite the nomad and volunteering excites you, consider giving your time and effort in another country.

4. Send Cash Directly

GiveDirectly is the only non-public health charity that allows donors to wire unconditional cash transfers directly to the people who need it the most. Backed by GiveWell, GiveDirectly has a huge research literature that supports the benefits of cash transfers and their favorable evaluations. What is great about direct cash transfers is that it allows the recipients to buy necessary items.

My Bottom Line

I read a self-improvement book and the author mentioned, “Money is energy and it needs to circulated.” It is a principle I stand by every moment I am given a chance to make a difference in someone’s life. Money is a giving tool and when used in a positive way, you can only expect major differences within yourself to develop.

I have chosen to use my money and sponsor a child from Ethiopia via the World Vision organization. As I was researching, I discovered how transparent the company is; 85% of the donations goes to children, families, and communities in need. This information was easily obtainable as it is displayed on their homepage.

But it wasn’t just the transparency that reeled me in, it was the integrity, longevity and the foundation of love that the organization is known for. I am a proud Child Ambassador for World Vision and I encourage everyone to give. Sponsorship may not be for you right now, so give what you can using the aforementioned methods. I guarantee that your spirit will be filled with abundant blessings and peace.

Give with heart and do it freely and often.