Donating to charity has a plethora of health benefits. You not only feel great, but the endorphins released from this feeling can help with relieving stress and depresison. Not to mention that you are helping out a cause in dire need of some assisstance. But donating can be difficult, especially if you are not sure how or what to donate to your chosen charity or organisation.
If you are donating to a crisis response organisation, you should ask them for what they need rather than just assuming what is the right option. And, if you are going to be offering a monetary donation, be sure to ask how much would truly be helpful. This way, your charitable giving is more effective and can actually be used to help a cause. Below are some top tips on how you can donate to charity effectively.
Don’t wait until it is too late
You might think that donating to a charity or organisation at the end of the year makes sense. After all, you have just received your bonus and it is in keeping with the festive spirit. But, it is not very helpful for charities that are giving help with emergency response services or who have an ongoing cause to fight for in the health services sector.
Instead, you should aim to donate at least half-way through the year. This way, the organisation will have time to use the funds effectively and if there are any issues with your payment or if the goods you are donating do not arrive on time, you can address these issues without having to rush. Ask the charity when they feel the need the most for funds and donate during these months.
Choose a few rather than many charities
Giving to those in need is a noble act. But it becomes difficult to give in a meaningful way if you are donating to ten charities rather than five, and this can eat into your wallet unintentionally. It is better to choose two to three causes that you know a lot about and donate equally to each one.
Choosing a small number of charities to donate to will allow you to give effectively and efficiently. You will also find that you can build long-lasting relationships with the charities if you are more focused on them and not trying to spread yourself too thinly. You can ask for advice on which charities are most in need of help and decide on the ones which are in line with your values.
Don’t give the wrong donation
Now, this might sound counterintuitive to donating to charity. After all, any donation can be helpful, right? But this is not always correct. For example, if a crisis response service is specifically asking for monetary donations, they will likely not appreciate getting second-hand clothes instead.
You will need to check with the organisation exactly what type of donations they are looking for so that you can offer them the help that they need. They will likely have a web page detailing what they need the most and what they are willing to accept from donors. If you cannot afford a monetary donation, ask if you can donate your time or if there are any essentials they need, such as groceries for a children’s home or animal shelter. Charities who help with people experiencing a mental health issue who need help are always on the lookout for books, clothes and toiletries to encourage these people to enjoy life.
Look for ways to measure your impact
One way to know that what you are doing is effective at all is to ask the organisation if they have a measurable impact. For example, ask them how many people they have helped in the past year and how this compares to the current year. You could also ask for testimonials from previous donors about how their donations were used.
If you can measure your impact, even over a short term, you can see what types of donations are performing better than others. If your second-hand clothes have helped to keep a large number of homeless people warm during the bitter cold months, you could look into providing a larger amount of clothes in your next donation. Or if you have seen that the money you have given to an animal shelter has been used to buy new blankets and food, you could donate a larger amount next time.
Give back to gain happiness
One of the most important aspects of giving an effective charitable donation is to be sure that you are giving back for the right reasons. If you are doing it to look good to consumers, you will likely not give the right donation or at the right time of year. But if you are donating because you truly care about the cause, then you will give a better donation and you will build a stronger relationship with the organisation. Giving back will make you a happier, healthier person.