Saturday, January 16, 2010

Choosing a Charity

Dozens, if not hundreds, of organizations are collecting donations of money and helpful items for the people of Haiti. Most of us would like to help even if we can't afford to give much, but how do we decide which organization to use?
Of course some of the groups are well known, but does that mean they're the best places to give? Not necessarily. I'm not implying that the charitable organizations are dishonest, though some, especially new ones, might be. But some of the big groups spend so much on overhead expenses like paying a large staff, a lot of office space, extensive advertising, etc. that only a small portion of donations actually reaches the people who need help. Someone I know from Haiti suggests giving to the Lambi Fund because nearly all the money they take in goes directly to the people of Haiti. However they aren't involved in emergency assistance and any donations to them will be spent to help the country recover when the emergency situation is over.
It takes time to research an organization to be sure they're legitimate and that the donations will be used in the most practical way. If you don't have time to do that please don't let it discourage you from giving. If the charity is legitimate at least some of your gift will be spent as needed and every little bit helps. If everyone in America gave just one dollar the total amount of donations would be in the millions.
And this is a wonderful opportunity for parents and teachers to help children learn the importance of helping others.


Mayra Calvani said...

Great post, Jan. I was wondering about this myself.

Janet Ann Collins said...

Thanks, Mayra.

Nicole weaver said...

Thanks for posting the info about Lambi Fund.

Janet Ann Collins said...

You're welcome. I hope it helps.