With the holidays upon us, many are opening their hearts and their wallets, asking themselves, “what charity should I donate to?” I’m a huge advocate of giving money to charity, but I can tell you that I have been taken advantage of…..big time!
If you’d like to know how you can donate to charity without being ripped off, you’ll appreciate a few facts that I was never aware of, until now. If you feel compelled to give, and are looking for some ideas about where to best put your money, I’d also like to share with you some info about one of the charities I support – and why.
First, some Shocking Facts:
Up to 95% of Your Donations May Go to For-Profit Fundraising Companies
Imagine receiving a call from a sweet, polite lady or gentlemen who tells you about the tremendous need for donations to an organization that (for example) provides free health care to children with cancer. Can you say no? Well maybe….but some of us just don’t have the heart to say no to sick babies. I know, because I am one of them
Well, the last time I received such a call, armed with this information, I asked what percentage of donations actually goes to the cause, and was told 5%. Yes, I’ll break that down for you….from a $100 donation, the charity itself will receive a measly $5. Oh and yes, this is legal!
Your Name May be Sold or Traded
Have you ever given to a charity, only to find yourself barraged with solicitations from other charities? It seems like all of a sudden, everybody’s “got your number”? I can tell you, there are weeks when I can receive 5 solicitations, all from different organizations that pull on my heart strings.
I always wondered how all these people had my information, until recently learning that when you donate to charity, your name may be sold or traded to other charities.
DNC List Does Not Pertain to Non-Profits
Fundraising organizations can legally call you, even if your name is on the Federal Do Not Call list – as long as they are raising money for a non-profit organization.
Wow! So, am I telling you not to donate to charity? No, no, no – I repeat – NO! In fact I believe that one of the foundations of receiving is in giving. We are on this earth to help others, and in giving with happy hearts, we open the doors to blessings in our own lives.
My suggestion is that when considering which charities to donate to, use these practices:
- Learn what percentage goes to the cause. This information is readily accessible on the Better Business Bureau website http://www.bbb.org/us/charity.
- If you are solicited over the phone and feel that a cause is worthwhile, ask what percentage goes to the cause. By law, this information must be provided to you if you ask. If you are not satisfied with the answer, ask to be taken off their call list.
- Seek out charities that speak to your heart, use the money they collect for the most good, and are highly rated.
- If possible, set up an automatic monthly contribution for one or more causes or organizations that you truly want to support, and know that you’re doing your part to make the world a better place.
Still wondering, what charity should I donate to? There are many incredible charities to donate to, and I have a few favorites, but want to share one in particular with you. Feeding America addresses the growing epidemic of hunger in America. Why not start in your own backyard, where you can touch the lives of your neighbors? A few statistics on Feeding America:
- 96% of money donated is used towards programs
- Due to matching grants, every $1 donated provides 16 meals or more for hungry families
- 5.7 million hungry Americans are fed through the Feeding America network each week
- Feeding America meets all 20 Standards for Charity Accountability in accordance with the Better Business Bureau, and is a BBB seal holder
I could go on and on about the need, and about how this organization manages to do so much with so little. In the interest of keeping this post as short as possible I instead invite you to learn more about this worthy cause at http://www.feedingamerica.org
Feed your neighbors this holiday season (and throughout the coming year)….and feed your soul. Be Blessed!