Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Charity and Donation

You know charity is something that we can all sink our teeth into; however, there is a glut of charities, so much need, and so little money.  Today we have become confused about charity, everyone assumes that you have to give money for a charity to be effective, we see on television advertisements for the ASPCA, or some other charity dealing with feeding children somewhere else.  People give to these charities, and that is fine.  Really the truth is, one not always give money to be charitable, much to the dismay of these agencies.  What do you think would occur if you called the ASPCA up and said, hey, I would rather adopt a pet?  Alternatively, call up one of these charities that deal with children in a third world nation and say the same thing, I think I would rather adopt a child from that country.  Guess what, they will likely give you a song or dance about being able to do so much more for the child there, but not here.  In other words, give us money and trust us.

That brings me to part of the point of this conversation, when someone like you or I attempts to start a legitimate charity, we are lost in the sea of false charities.  Groups who spend as little as five cents on the dollar for the cause they are supposed to be helping.  Some of these groups are worse; they are no charity outside of the people who operate it, and every penny that you give them goes into the pockets of those who run it.   Then when someone who is in need comes and says, I need help, you cannot help them, you have given what little extra you had to some other cause that does nothing.  Always attempt to fact check a charity, if they are registered as a non-profit, they have a paper trail.  Sometimes you will encounter something like Go Fund Me accounts, and they are harder to track down, but there is a difference between the two types of charity.  People I know or have known for a long period-created most of the Go Fund Me accounts I have seen.  It is not something that you randomly see in your email as spam, or posted by people you do not know on a social media site. 
There is another thing that gets me with so many charities, they go all Jerry Maguire on you, they have ads on the television, radio, and internet screaming “Show me the money.”  While the primary goal of most charities is to raise money, some seek to raise awareness, or even both.  The best charities in my opinion are those that seek to raise both awareness of a problem, along with money for the group in question.  These types of charity also reflect the true spirit of charity; they allow you the choice of how you will donate.  You could spread the word about a charity, you could donate your time in different ways (such as building or upgrading a website or start a Go Fund Me account), you could give money yourself, or otherwise figure out a means to assist the group, even if it is nothing more than a friendly word.  Donation to charity is not a simple give money, but a multitude of options, something to remember at a later date, when it comes up.