Doing good feels great. Regardless of who you are, where you work or the size of your business, there is almost always a way to get involved with a cause or charity–whether it’s local or national. We have detailed the various ways you and your business can get involved with charities in a previous post. Businesses can offer sponsorships, donate money directly, or have employees volunteer to help out a cause they deem to be worthy. Once you’ve decided how you’re going to get you and your business involved, the logical next step is to decide where you’ll get involved!
Picking out a charity or cause to support is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly–different organizations handle donations in radically different ways, giving different percentages to the cause or employing less-than-stellar management techniques that have helped earn some fairly negative reviews from critics.
When you’re deciding on a charity to support for you and your business, a few basic precautions should be taken to ensure your time, money and efforts are not going to waste.
Determine Who You Want to Help
Whether it’s improving education for those who need it most, feeding the homeless or raising awareness for a debilitating disease, different charities have very different goals. If there is one particular area that you feel as though deserves or needs help, compile a list of charities that fit the bill before you move on to the next step.
Check Their Ratings
Use a website like Charity Navigator or GiveWell to do some background research on the charities you’re considering before selecting which one you’ll ultimately spend your money or time helping. Not all charities are created equal–some give meager percentages of their proceeds towards a cause, while others devote almost the entirety of the donations they receive directly to helping the cause. Before moving onto step three, make sure you know that the charity you’re selecting has a strong reputation and good moral and ethical roots.
Check Their Ambitions
As he recommends in his Ted Talk, Den Pallotta claims that statistics like overheard don’t always paint a complete picture of a charity’s trustworthiness. “Don’t ask about the size of their overhead,” he says in the talk. “Ask about the size of their dreams.” If a charity is doing good and having tangible effects on the community it serves, it may well be worthy of your consideration.