The world is a crazy and unpredictable place, especially as of late. Although there is much to be sad about in the world, there is also hope coming from many places. With a global pandemic, natural disasters and other issues happening in the world, many organizations have stepped up to help lend a hand. If this is your first time giving to a certain cause or organization, you want to make sure that your donation is going directly to the matters that mean the most! Check out these tips to ensure you can find reputable organizations that are helping give back to so many great causes around the world.
Do Your Research
The first step to knowing and trusting an organization is to look at their track record and do some research. Luckily, this is relatively easy given the amount of information available in the world today. In the past, this step would have been much more difficult. Luckily for you, these research steps won’t take up much of your time, and you’ll be on your way to supporting your favorite organizations and causes in no time!
- Look at the Organization’s Web Presence
First impressions are everything, which is why you should start at the root of the organization—their online presence. Take a look at the quality of the website, as well as their social media presence. If the organization hasn’t posted anything new in years or their website looks like it has been around since the dawn of the internet, you’ll want to ensure the organization is still going strong.
- Find the Nonprofit’s 501(c)3 Status
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has a list of charities and nonprofit organizations you can search through to find the organization you’re looking to support.
- Read Reviews
Just like going to a restaurant or doing business with a new company, we’re living in the 21st century. Reviews exist in places like Google or Facebook from past donors or volunteers. You may also find testimonials on their website.
Talk with Donors or Volunteers
The best place to learn about an organization is from others who have already come to love the nonprofit. Ask if you can speak to a volunteer from the organization or even a donor. Most organizations will be happy to set up time with people who already know and love them in hopes that you’ll also see how much they care and become a lifelong supporter.
Find Out How Your Money Will Be Used
Often, you’ll be able to designate your contribution to a specific area of an organization. Maybe there’s a specific program you want to ensure your donation helps support, or even sponsor, a specific individual (depending on the type of organization).
If the organization does not offer any sort of separate programs or areas of opportunity to specify where your donations are being applied, check out their annual report. Often, an annual report will give you a great idea of how much money was raised in the previous year, where those donations went, areas of focus for the coming year and so much more.
Although there are a ton of heavy issues going on in the world today, nonprofit organizations are a bright spot in the world, helping to provide relief and aid to a variety of important causes. Get to know the organizations around you before making a contribution to ensure that your donations will go far and support the causes you care about. Luckily, we’re living in a world full of information, and there are so many wonderful organizations out there in the world ready to give back!