Over the holidays, I learned that a extended family member is doing some great things in the name of charity, and I wanted to share it with all of you.
One day 7 year old Nikki and her Mom were watching “American Idol Gives Back.” In this case, the judges traveled to Africa to promote charity. Nikki immediately gave her entire allowance to charity.
“Wow” her Mom said, “You saved three children.” Nikki burst into tears. “That’s not enough. What more can one child do?”
Nikki brought together 9 friends, ages 8 to 10, dedicated to this cause. The result is a CD composed of inspirational songs, stories, and the children’s dreams for this CD.
They have many classics such as Amazing Grace, Ode to Joy, and sing-alongs like She’ll be coming Round the Mountain paired with stories. You can hear samples, meet the children, purchase the CD or donate to help their cause on their website ChildrensVoicesforCharity.org
100% of the proceeds are donated to Doctors Without Borders Children’s Malnutrition Program.
Tis the season, and many of us are in the giving spirit. With so many good causes out there, selecting charities can seem a bit daunting.
It’s good to do a little research and ask some questions to find out a little more about the organization. There are some helpful guides which can give you financial breakdowns and spending habits of each charity from places like Charity Navigator and Charity Watch. Here are a few guidelines I use when selecting a charity or organization to donate to.
- Fund Allocation
One of the most important things to ask is how is my money being spent? When donating to a charity or cause, I like to see at least 80% of my funds going towards action. You will find some charities spending (in my opinion) too much money on administration, fund-raising and extraneous things. Before you give, try and find the percentages, most good charities will have it readily available.
Where do these charities operate and do I see the effects of their work? Granted there are several charities that work ‘under the radar’, but they should still be held accountable. I like to see results when choosing a charity whether it be news coverage, events, preservation, laws passed, documented actions, etc.
How does your charity affect change? Make sure you are comfortable with the actions of your charity, and know what their methods are. Some groups can be more radical and aggressive, and indeed some charities could be viewed as terrorist groups. It is wise to know what your charity is doing and how they are doing it.
- Transparency and Trust
How much do you know about your charity, and how easy is it to find out more? I like to know a lot about the groups I give to, from where they are based to how far they reach, what/who they help and how they help are all important to me. Some charities will allow you to even select exactly what you want your money to go to.
- Ability to Affect Change
This is where the rubber hits the road and I want to know what is my Return on Investment (ROI) is going to be, because that is exactly what it is. I’m not giving money away, I am investing it in an idea. When looking at a specific cause, try and pinpoint organizations which are most able to impact it the best way. Sometimes it is a larger organization with lots of equipment and manpower, other times its the smaller guys who can mobilize quickly and effectively – choose the best tool › Continue reading
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