Charity sees the need,
Not the cause.
We are taught it is our mission to help others. So we do. You’d think being a charitable person would, in itself, be a good thing but there are actually right and wrong ways to be charitable.
Personal finance writer Liz Weston says the best rule to follow when contributing to organizations that serve the needy is, “Take your time.” Shotgun-giving doesn’t help you make knowledgeable choices, and often the amount donated causes more problems than good. Here are three of the “charitable mistakes” many of us make:
1. Giving too little
By the time a $25 donation is processed, much less than $25 eventually trickles down to the needy. And any donation – no matter how small – indicates to a charity that if you are courted, you might give more. So the organization may spend twice as much as you donated trying to persuade you to increase future donations.
2. Emotional donations
Rather than make one-time donations based on an emotional appeal, it’s best to focus on one or two organizations that represent your passion for good. Let’s say your focus is child abuse. Now, let’s narrow it down even further: does an organization like CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) or Lunches of Love (LOL) speak to your passion for helping needy children?
3. Last-minute support
The year-end and new year holidays inspire us to be better people; we want to share some of our blessings with those less fortunate. Again, last-minute giving to random charities is not nearly as effective as regular donations to one organization. Your charity can build a budget around your regular donation when you make monthly donations. It helps with cash-flow, year round and better serves the needy than one larger donation at tax time.
Learn Before You Leap
No matter how heartfelt the request for charity, it’s simply best to avoid telemarketing and storefront solicitations. Maot Chithim of Greater Chicago is not a billion-dollar charitable industry with well-paid CEOs, so we get a big bang out of small donations! Call 847-674-3224 or contact us to learn more.