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tinyfaery's avatar

What is the best way to make use of the money I give to charity?

Asked by tinyfaery (41893points) 3 weeks ago

Every year I set aside $500 to donate to charity; sometimes I exceed it, but I never donate less. Typically, I donate a certain amount to 3 specific charities, and then use the rest throughout the year as needed for things I care about. Lately I have been wondering if this is the best way to utilize my money and make the biggest impact.

Would it make a bigger impact for animals (what 80% of my money goes to) if I just spent that $500 among the 3 charities I support the most, pick one charity a year and donate that $500, or continue my piecemeal donations throughout the year?

Your suggestions are greatly appreciated.

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15 Answers

LadyMarissa's avatar

You might want to check the charity you plan on giving a donation here to make sure that they are legit. This site is linked with the Better Business Bureau to stay on top of legit charities. I kow that Give checks out many charities & then donates funds that they’ve collected for up & coming local charities around the US. They seem to be pretty picky as to which charity they share their money…often choosing some of the smaller community driven ones.

For better info on how much the administrative fees cut into your donation, you might want to check out this one . This site gives more detailed info so you can see for yourself where your donations go. After researching on this site, I have stopped giving to some of the larger ones as a good chunk of the donation goes to salaries where some people make mega money & very little ever make it into those actually needing it!!!

As for donating to one charity or splittng it up, I think you should do your heart tells you to do!!! Since numerous charities have sprung up kind of everywhere with many not being legit, I have opted to donate my money to local charities that I feel a connection. We have a community group that helps to feed & clothe those who are homeless or down on their luck. A friend works there & when she finds a single mother with several children that she feels is really trying to do her best, she lets me know & then at Thanksgiving or Christmas, I take them a turkey, ham, hamburger, assorted veggies, & some assorted desserts so maybe they can have a good family dinner for the holidays. Then once I get to know them better, sometimes Santa makes a visit for the children.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

See if you can get a “matching” donation from someone. Your $500 becomes $1000!

zenvelo's avatar

Spreading your dollars or putting it all into one spot is up to you. Allocating scarce resources is strictly as you feel most comfortable and feel you are doing the most good.

But checking the charities to see who uses the money in the best way is important. Some charities use 99% of donations to support their mission; others will only use 10% or 15% and spend the rest on salaries and fundraising.

tinyfaery's avatar

I definitely use charity navigator and I like the main charities I donate to. I just wonder what creates more impact in general.

Inspired_2write's avatar

I give every time I shop at my local grocery store as they have a list on there til that Automatically funnels matched donations to local charities and we as a customer have the choice to choose out of a list of over 30 charities.
Also our local grocery store has Food drives within the store and they and volunteers take them to the people that need them.
Any Holiday like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter also.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

You can buy lotto tickets or draws for charity. If you lose everyone wins.

canidmajor's avatar

I figure you already have an excellent handle on how your money is used, and that you have done your homework.
If the charity is predominately a care situation, (for example, meds and food to animals in need) then I would go for a staggered donation. For purposes of scientific research, I would lump sum the donations. My friends in research tell me that is better for immediate needs, equipment and stuff.

You have a good heart.

rebbel's avatar

@RedDeerGuy1 If he loses, everyone wins.
How does that work?

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@rebbel The money from lotto goes to the government to run certain departments. Like school lunch and roads ect. Or to specific charities that you can donate to in exchange for a chance to win a prize. If you win then you can donate the prize or keep for yourself. Everyone wins.

ucme's avatar

Be best to bundle it all on one of them each year rather than drip feed all three. Good for you by the way…respect.

tinyfaery's avatar

@canidmajor That makes a lot of sense. Thanks.

elbanditoroso's avatar

It’s more a matter of choice than anything else.

I give to civil liberties, constitutional freedom, and similar types of charities, like the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

I know others who give to local charities (churches, shelters, and so on). Also the local public radio station and similar local civic institutions.

And many others who donate the big national charities like March of Dimes, Heart Association, etc. I tend not to give to the corporation-sized charities because their overheard is so massive and they never seem to produce results.

But it’s really all your tastes.

jca2's avatar

One other reminder: You can pick a charity on Amazon Smile and a portion of your sales will go to that charity.

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