I see many people asking this question when they want to start donating a small portion of their income. It also brings up so many other questions like:
- Where is my money going?
- Would I get the Financial Statements of the organization?
- Details of money spent on the cause in terms of Actuals Vs Administration
- Tax Benefits
.. and the list can literally grow very long.
There are of course, huge number of NGOs, Individuals and informal Groups that are engaged in the service of humanity, trying to address/resolve many generic/specific, regional/global issues. Its easy to get lost, trying to finalize one among them. Its common to get confused over their intentions, actual field performance, garnering/analyzing true impact etc.
But what frustrates me is this question becoming a deterrent to actually start contributing in the first place. I am tired of people giving this as an excuse. It just sounds lame. They are killing their own spirits. They are banishing their own love of humankind. So, which is the best Organization to donate your money?
The first one that comes to you convincing.. or the first one that you found good enough.. FIRST.. START… SMALL.
First get started. First start doing something small and then think of this question. Its OK if you get cheated a few times. Its fine if you find some miscommunication. Its completely alright if you find that organization not good ‘enough’ to continue your subscriptions. What I am trying to impress on is the idea of starting first. By giving a small portion of your hard-earned money to charities, you get back a sense of fulfillment which is worth 1000 times the actual contribution. Once you start doing that, its obvious and automatic that you will find your way.
As I said, there are thousands of organizations/individuals around and you will eventually strike a chord with one/few of them. There is no single, best organization.. its the truth. We are all unique individuals and so will have our preferences in supporting a cause, right? But to really have a good start, you can look at these places:
Yes, Its the first place. Start looking around and you will find your driver in damn need of some money for his child’s higher education. Your maid might be suffering a lot to pool up money for a medical treatment… The autowallah, community cleaner, grocery shop assistant.. Did you ever listen to them?
“Corporate Social Responsibility” might have been slowly becoming a fashion statement, but its still a good place to start with. Don’t get carried away by those people who just pose for pictures. If its an initiative by your own employer, then there is a good chance that you can play a deeper role therein. You will have a voice and an opportunity.
Um, whats better than riding with your own friend to a hospital and handover the cheque for a poor child’s heart surgery? Not just movies, dates and fast food, your friends have a lot more to share once you start the topic.
So, now you know what to do? Stop worrying about the end result and start contributing first. Then you will find your own ‘best’.
thanks for reading.