The holidays are approaching quickly - and there’s something about this time of the year that reminds us to think beyond ourselves. Giving gifts to family and friends is wonderful, and you can enhance that wonder by expanding that impulse to people you don’t’ know.
Donating to a charity, whether Relief from Pain or any others that resonate with you, is a beautiful way to channel this impulse.
Which charity should you donate to? There’s seemingly endless charities covering causes ranging from healing diseases to sanitizing water. You can even buy life-changing goats for those in need. When looking through charities, option overload is almost impossible to avoid.
Learning how to choose the right charity, or charities, for your donation will help simplify your decision and give you peace of mind knowing your donation is used wisely.
Emotional Benefits of Donating to Charity
Before diving into the ins and outs of picking a charity, let’s discuss the benefits of donating. While the best gifts are those given without expecting to receive anything in return, there are some fringe perks that tend to go unmentioned here’s some of the common ones:
A greater sense of community
When you give to someone, whether it’s loved ones or strangers, they feel closer to you. It’s a two-way street, you feel closer to them. Donating to charity will also carry this feeling, even if you donate online.
It’s good for your health
A number of studies have shown that generosity is linked to physical and mental health. There are numerous studies that illustrate that giving may help you when recovering from serious diseases.
When you give to someone, it causes a chain of events of generosity and positivity. Donating to a charity directly enhances that organization's ability to help others by advancing their cause.
Beginning Your Search for a Charity
Consider what causes you resonate with.
For many people, past experiences direct what you’ll be drawn to. Those who were once homeless will likely be compelled to donate to charities that help homeless people. Those who lost someone to a disease will likely be drawn to charities that support researching cures.
What causes resonate with you?
If anything came to mind after you read that question, make a list. Otherwise, keep that question in mind as you keep exploring charities.
Browsing Legitimate Charities
An unfortunate reality of the world of charity is that not all organizations are equal. Not enough of the money goes where it should, or none of it does. Browsing through sources of trusted charities will help you discover legitimate places for your generosity.
When investigating charities in the United Kingdom, The Charity Commission is an excellent resource and allows you to search for specific organizations. If you know the name of a charity you'd like to investigate, you can use the standard search feature. Otherwise, you can use the advanced search feature to browse all registered charities. You can search based on what they do, who they help and how the charity operates.
Don’t be afraid to contact the charity and ask them specific questions to better help you decide if they are worthy of your gift. Some key information to ask would be surrounding how much of the donations actually make it to those in need. Listen carefully to the wording of the answer as some may hedge or give an answer meant to muddle.
Remember to Think Locally
One of the benefits we talked about earlier is feeling connected to other people. Donating to local charities directly benefits your community. You’ll advance causes that will improve the lives of people you may even know.
You can even ask some of your friends if they are involved with any charities or your local church if they can recommend one.
Divert Your Gifts to Charity
Donating your own money is great, but you can also direct people to donate instead of giving you a gift. When asked, provide your chosen charity and ask them to donate instead. Consider making a habit of this for birthdays, engagements and any other occasion that might call for a gift.
Remember how generosity causes a ripple effect? Directing people to charity will encourage others to do the same.
Now You’re Ready to Donate
You know the benefits of donating to a charity and you know how to find a legitimate organization. All that remains is deciding how much you want to give!
If you’re going to be donating locally, deliver cash or a check in person. They’ll appreciate it, and you’ll feel closer to your community.