30 Nov

Choosing The Right Charities

Posted in News on 30.11.10 by John Meloche

A couple of weeks ago, we mentioned in our blog that the season of giving brings about fraudsters of all kinds looking to cash in on the generosity of those celebrating the holiday season. While being mindful of your spending habits during this time of year, it is also important to be on the lookout for scam artists.

Both online and in person, fraud is rampant, especially during the holidays. Alison Griffith of Metro Canada warns today that giving to charity is obviously a kind gesture, but one that should be carefully researched before committing to. When seeking out the right charities to donate to, Griffith suggests that you first make sure that your charity is registered with the federal government.

Secondly, do your best to donate to charities that allow you to do so in person. This is generally more beneficial than doing so over the phone or internet. Mail solicitation is also something that Griffith recommends you keep away from. “Some charities do their own mail blitzes but many hire fundraisers that take a piece of the pie,” she warns.

In addition, although it may seem the generous and kind thing to do, Griffith suggests that you not “spray your money all over the place. You will feel more connected to a couple of charities if you focus your giving than if you give little bits here and there to a dozen of them.”

Choosing a charity, of course, is generally the first step. Picking one that is close to your heart or relevant to a loved one is usually the best bet. Earlier today, members of our staff shared their stories about charities that they actively participate in. Breast cancer awareness, for example, is popular among many of our reps.

With surviving family members and others that are still affected by the disease, the fight for a cure is a personal one for them. Donating to causes that help you to feel more connected with those you are directly helping always provides a good feeling. It will also help you to feel more confident that your donated funds are being used for a legitimate cause.

Some of the easiest ways to make those who are less fortunate than you better enjoy the holiday season is to donate clothing or items that you no longer use. Some people forget just how much clothes they have because they almost never visit certain parts of their closets! Take some time and go through your wardrobe. You may be surprised how many articles of clothing you find that would be better suited for donation rather than dust collecting!

Finally, suggests Griffith, get your kids in on the action. Teaching children the thoughtful act of giving during the holiday season is a gift in and of itself. As Griffith writes, “children love causes where they get something back such as a letter, a photo or some tangible recognition that their efforts have made a difference…encourage them to save part of their allowance every year in a jar, envelope or bank account to give to a charity of their choice.”

Comments Off on Choosing The Right Charities