Finding a charity to support can be frustrating when you see how many charities actually put very little of your money toward the cause that’s near and dear to you. When you’re ready and able to donate, you want to give your time, cash, and belongings to a charity that will directly help the most people.
Know Where to Give
Charities must have some overhead, but some spend so much on marketing that your donations don’t reach the recipient you want to focus on. To avoid feeling like your funds are wasted, seek out small charities or those mostly staffed by volunteers. Groups like Charity: Water and Partners in Health don’t have a huge marketing footprint, but do very good work for people around the world. On the other hand, only 2% of your money may actually benefit your targeted recipients when you donate to the American Breast Cancer Foundation. A more unconventional way to give back without spending money is to donate your blood.
What to Give Back
You may not have cash to donate right now but want to help as best you can. While cash is an easier donation to make to send help overseas, you can donate many items locally. The simplest way to do this is to find out if your city has a coat donation region. Many cities now allow citizens to drape a coat or warm blanket on trees and signs for those in need to collect. If you like to knit, you can add a handmade scarf. Some charities offer a Thanksgiving dinner to the needy and hand out coats, scarves, and hats at the same time. A number of places accept blankets and would genuinely prefer them to a cash donation. This is extremely useful at animal shelters.
Give Your Time
You can easily change the world on a personal level by donating your time. If you’re good at math, check with local charities, and volunteer as a tutor at a low-income school. Many schools have blocked out time for reading every day. You can join in and become a reading tutor for just an hour a week. Many homeless shelters focused on families are looking for volunteers to help stabilize families in crisis, to spend time with children who are struggling with disruption and stress, or to teach basic living skills.
There are so many ways to donate and so many causes you can donate to. Some donors prefer to focus on animals and others on children. If you have a family member or friend struggling with a terrible disease, you may want to put all of your focus on that issue. No matter the challenge, you can give back to the world by donating to charities that are good stewards of your treasure.
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