In the spirit of the approaching holiday season, you might be thinking about charitable gifts. But with so many charities out there, how can you select the most worthy recipients of your hard-earned dollars?
First, identify your own values and interests. Do you want to focus your charitable efforts on the Environment? Hunger? Health? And would you prefer to support a local charitable group, or one that works nationally or internationally?
After you’ve found charities you might like to support, do some research, either through their websites or their literature. Learn as much as you can about a group’s mission, goals and effectiveness. Try to determine if a charitable group is using its money wisely. Is it devoting as much of its contributions as possible to its programs, or is it spending too much money on administrative costs?
To get help, you might want to use Charity Intelligence Canada (CIC). This non-profit agency evaluates hundreds of Canadian charities, based on transparency and accountability, need for funding and operating efficiency. There’s a good chance that CIC can provide you with more information about a charity you’re considering on its website: www.charityintelligence.ca. You might need to pay a small fee, but you can also get a lot of free information about charitable giving in Canada.
When giving to charity, take your time in choosing the right groups. Any donation you make will be appreciated, but you’ll feel better about your gift if you know it’s going to a place that you, or an outside organization, have thoroughly screened.