Choosing the right charity

People give in different ways: will you decide ahead of time how much you'll be giving this year

Marie-Christine Daignault | Desjardins Group

You can't give to everyone; so how do you narrow it down? 

Here are 4 questions you should ask yourself before making a choice.

1. Why am I giving?
- What's important to me? 
- Are there any charities that move me? 
- Are there any aspects of my personal life that would affect my choice?

Think about health, education,  the environment, access to clean water, malnutrition, healthy lifestyles, protection of children, the elderly, respect for human rights, dignity, animal welfare... the possibilities are endless!

2. Where's my focus?
You'll need to decide whether you'll give locally, nationally or internationally . . . whatever choice you make, there will always be charities that want and need your support.

3. How much do I want to get involved?
Some people give at the grocery store or on street corners to encourage a particular organization, some people take up a challenge, others have monies deducted from their pay and some of us wait for the knock at the door or the phone to ring.
- What kind of donor am I?  
- How much of my annual budget do I want to devote to charity?
- Should I be getting a tax receipt? 
- Have I thought about tax incentives and how I can save with planned donations?

4. Where will the money go?

  • Is the organization a registered charity? See if it's on the Canada Revenue Agency's charities listings.
  • How is the money used? Even the best run organizations direct approximately 75% of donations to financing their programs.
  • Can you get information about the charity by reading their mission statement, annual report, board of directors' member list or financial statements?

People give in different ways: will you decide ahead of time how much you'll be giving this year? Or will you take part in the latest fundraising challenge if inspiration hits? Perhaps you'll stick with your favourites? 

What about adding a new cause this year ?

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