Donating to a cause you really care about comes with a lot of great perks.
There’s the activation of the reward centre in your brain.
There’s the improved life satisfaction and mood-boosting.
There’s the powerful impacts that it has on the communities your donating to.
And of course – the good ol’ tax benefits!
But, increasingly, there’s a fine line to walk these days with many savvy philanthropists asking questions about where their donation ends up and what it actually achieves.
We’ve come up with 3 easy ways to ascertain if the charities you’re donating to are aligned, impactful and worthy of accepting your hard earned dollars!
Tip 1: Locate or ask for an Annual report
Most reputable and transparent charities will provide an annual report that details their administration costs and the impacts they’ve made in the past 12 months.
You want to look for:
- Admin fees below or equal to 25% (there isn’t a one size fits all, but this is a good average to start with)
- Impact statistics and stories of the people/communities/animals helped
- Future plans (to understand their trajectory and sustainability)
Tip 2: Stalk the founder and/or executives online
You can learn a LOT about any organisation from the people at the top since they’re the ones at the helm.
Founders and executives are responsible for big decisions and if they seem like people you’d be inspired by or even just friends with, then you’re probably a winner.
You might want to:
- Look on their website for key team members
- Google their names to see what news and information pops up
- Find and connect with them on Linkedin
Tip 3: Let a 3rd party do the vetting for you!
We get it – as a busy professional/parent/person it can be hard to find the time to take the deep dive into these things that you might want to.
Another alternative is to let a trusted 3rd party do the digging for you.
Giving circles are a fantastic way to do that. There are some fantastic ones running across Australia (including ours!) and they generally operate like so:
- Charities are nominated by the giving circle community, donors who collectively contribute to the ‘pot’ of money being given away
- The directors/leaders of the giving circle utilise a fair, equitable and often anonymous process to individually assess all nominated charities
- Charities are assessed collectively and after applying any relevant further due diligence a smaller selection is chosen
- This smaller selection is then voted on by the border community to assess which charities will be awarded a donation from the giving circle pool
All that being said, it’s up to you to decide what charities you feel most comfortable dealing with and what goals impact you personally the most!