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The Best Charity to Donate To - HOW to Decide on a Charity to Give To

Updated on April 8, 2015

What Charity Should You Donate To?

So who has a hard time deciding what charity to donate to? Raise your hands. Yeah, me, too. For me, it depends on two things. What are my passions? And what are my resources?

There are a lot of worthwhile charities to which you can donate--tons. So how do you decide? How do you choose just one or even two charities to help out?

Do you have money to give? Or is it time that you can share? Looking at your finances, your time available, and your interests can help you to decide where to invest your time and money as far as charities go.

So, ask yourselves some questions.

My JDRF magnet

JDRF supporter magnet
JDRF supporter magnet | Source

Are You Able to Donate Money to a Charity?

Is it money you want to give? If you do have the means to give of your finances, how in the world do you decide on a charity?

Really, you just have to look at your interests, at your passions. What age group do you have a heart for? The elderly? Abused children? Runaway teens? Having a degree in social work, I have worked in all of these fields. At different times, I have given to the Alzheimer's Association as well as to Children's House, a therapeutic center for children who have experienced abuse and neglect, a place where I worked for five years. Having a love for pets, I have given to various animal organizations over the years.

Another question you can ask yourself: what issues pull at you? Do you feel for the poor? The homeless? Those who cannot afford medical care--or even food? Over the years, I have given to Habitat for Humanity and Feeding America. There are also organizations such as Doctors without Borders who provide medical treatment all over the world.

After giving sporadically now and then to different charities, I finally decided to give to one agency on a regular basis through a monthly gift taken from my credit card. My choice was JDRF, or the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Why did I choose that particular charity? Because it's personal. My boyfriend of 9 years has suffered with Type 1 diabetes for the majority of his life, and I see its effects. While research for a cure may be too late for him, it might not be for his grandchildren who could be diagnosed with this terrible illness.

Look at what's personal to you, what weighs on you. Where your heart is, your money should follow.

Boxes of stuff to donate
Boxes of stuff to donate | Source

Can You Give Physical Items?

If you don't have the money to give to a charity, what about giving away items you already have? If you're a minimalist and don't have a lot of personal possessions, this may not work for you.

For me, I'm a packrat. I always have supplies, things, sentimental items. I love going to flea markets and garage sales, which often leads to my house being loaded with just too much stuff. Throughout the year, I'm always going through things to either throw out or give away. This is another way to help others. Several times a year, I'll have a carload of items to donate--extra towels and sheets, dishes, or other household items that are taking up too much space in my house.

With kids, there are always clothes and toys that are outgrown and that others can use. Think about what you have in your home, what is still in good shape and that can be shared with those less fortunate.These items can be donated to shelters or thrift stores.

Could You Give of Your Time?

Perhaps you don't have the money or enough extra belongings in your home to share with other people. That's okay. Your time is important, too. For many non-profit organizations, they depend on volunteers to help staff their organizations. For them, time really is money.

Check out the local organizations in your community such as:

  • homeless shelters (help serve a meal)
  • shelters for abused or orphaned children (give children extra attention)
  • shelters for teens (spend time with troubled teens)
  • Salvation Army or other like organizations (help with various programs)
  • nursing homes (visit, read to the elderly)
  • Hospice (visit those who are dying)
  • Habitat for Humanity (help build a home)

These are a few ideas. Check your local Chamber of Commerce for a list of more organizations that could use your help.

Poll on Giving

How do you mostly give to charities?

See results

Give to Current Issues or Catastrophes!

If you can't give money regularly, and don't have a lot of possessions or time to give, you might consider giving to issues that come up--which are many--over the course of the year. This could be your calling, the one to help out when needed. Or perhaps you have your regular avenues of giving, but you also want to give more when needed. No problem. Mother nature and other evil forces in this world will ensure that you have opportunities to help ease suffering. Consider some of the following:

  • natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy U.S. 2012
  • the Tsunami in Japan 2011
  • the earthquake in Haiti 2010
  • school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, Newtown, CT, U.S. 2012

These are only just a few examples of recent events. There is always something that is happening locally in your town, in your country, or in the world. I have felt compelled at times to give locally as well as internationally.

Make a difference!

Writers are joining to find ways to help make the world a better place. Check out these sites:

Humanity One World website

H.O.W. on Facebook

Discover Your Passion--and Give!

There is a whole world of people out there who need help at one time or another. If you have a heart to give, finding your charity is the first step. Your choices may change as your personal situation (such as time and money) changes, but there are so many different ways to give.

Ask yourself the questions this article has raised. Find your passion. And give.

People need people. We all have issues. Giving brings us together. Inspiring video . . .


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