Sunday, August 19

3 Tips for Donating to Charity

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There are approximately 85,000 registered charitable organizations in Canada with many of them vying for the donations of citizens like you. While you may be the type of person who wishes they could give significant amounts to all charities who request donations, the reality is you only have so much money to go around.

Since charities are non-profit organizations, they rely largely on donations from others and some of them can use tactics that can be viewed as being quite aggressive or unrelenting such as telephone calls, pamphlets, and door-to-door solicitation. These actions can leave you confused, frustrated, and sometimes feeling bullied, but below are tips that can help you make the right decisions for giving to charity.

1. Research

It would be nice if all charitable donations made by people reach their intended destinations and are used as intended, but the sad reality is this sometimes does not happen. In the past there have been many instances where people have collected donations and did not really represent the organization they identified with or donations were collected and only a small amount went towards the cause that was identified. To prevent these occurrences from happening, you need to first do some research about the different types of charities and children’s charities.

The organization needs to be registered with the government of Canada and you can confirm this online. If you are approached by someone asking for donations and stating that they are connected with a registered charity, do not be afraid to hold off on contributing until you can confirm the existence and legitimacy of the organization.

2. Determine how donation is spent

Even if the contribution you make to a charity goes to a legitimate organization, it may not be used as you have intended. To be fair to charities, they need help to be able to help those in need. This means that they may use your donations for overhead expenses such as supplies, office space, insurance, and bills. Any charity worth giving to will do what they can to ensure most of the donations received go towards the people in need that they support.

If you are wondering how much of your donation goes to overhead and administrative fees and what go towards those in need, contact the charity who can answer any questions that you may have. It is estimated that about 60 percent of any donation should go directly to services with the remaining going to administrative and fundraising needs. Charitable organizations usually have their annual expense reports on their websites and you can view these as well to determine where most of their finances are going.

3. Do not be pressured

Many people have been in situations where they have been pressured into giving to someone that represents a charity, whether it be in the community, via telephone, or at home. As mentioned previously, if you are contacted to make a donation, do not be afraid to decline if you do not wish to contribute or want to do some research into the identified charity before donating. If the person requesting donations is being overly aggressive, it is beneficial to walk away, hang up the telephone, or close your door depending on the method in which they contacted you.

Anyone that is this aggressive should be treated with suspicion as this behavior can easily be reported to the charity they are representing therefore you should be questioning whether they are acting on behalf of the charity that they identify with anyway. A representative of a legitimate charity will be polite and not pressure you in any way to make donations.

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Fiona Thompson

Staff writer / Avid internet junkie / Devoted music aficionado

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