If you’re in a position to donate, you really want to make sure your dollars go to work. And if you are perhaps spreading your finances thin by donating, then you also really want to make sure it’s for good reason. No matter where you’re coming from – comfortably donating thousands or giving out $20 because that’s what you can spare – you want to make sure you aren’t taken advantage of. Or, furthermore, you just want to make sure you fully understand how your dollars will be put to use. There have always been thousands of causes that need donations, but it feels in recent months, those have doubled. Between a pandemic and horrific social injustices, a lot of people need help, and help in the form of money goes a long way. But with so many non-profits and charities asking for your donations, choosing the best one for your money can be overwhelming. How do you know who is legit? How do you know who just keeps 80% of donations for personal gain? How do you know which ones are affiliated with movements you actually don’t want to back? I’ve made the mistake in the past of donating money, only to learn that my dollars helped move forward initiatives I don’t believe in. That stung. I don’t want it to happen to you. Here are ways to vet non-profits before donating.
Always do some vetting
First off, always, always do some sort of vetting. Do not decide to give just because a non-profit solicits you. Do your own research. They should be fine with that. If you say you’d like to do your own research and they pressure you to just give now, walk away. But really, sometimes you can detect several red flags instantly by doing a five-minute online search.