Analog Crowdsourcing @ Chimp's shared office. (Editor Note: "What Would Bromley Do" refers to our fearless leader, John Bromley.
I've been tracking something recently: the number of times the discussion around "how to decide where to donate" comes up. It seems that there are many people (me included) who become overwhelmed when making a decision. Canada has more than 85,000 charities alone. Overwhelming? Yes.
Enter Brady Josephson, blogger, and officemate who heard my plea to help and shared 5 categories that he suggests using when evaluating a charity to give to. Below, in his words, are his suggestions:
This is the most important of all of them. If you don’t trust that the organization will and can do the work they say they do or will do then you should not give. Period.
Organizations can build trust in many ways and personal relationships, getting to know someone there and hear from them directly, is often the best. Getting stories of the work and the annual report summarizing the work done in the year are other good ways to see how trustworthy the organization is.
Do they have something in their model (funding, programs or future impact) that is sustainable?
Some organizations have programs that generate revenues and income which is attractive so they are not always relying on donations
Some programs focus on job creation which can help be a systemic problem
Education is often a sustainable venture as quality education can improve the next generation and solve a problem
Largely related to trust but organizational leadership is the most important thing when it comes to small and mid sized organizations
There are no good organizations with bad leaders
If you get a chance to interact with them and have a good impression of her or him, their passion and ability then more than likely the organization is solid and will figure things out
Do you know someone who works there? Is a friend advocating for the organization? Do you have first hand experience with their programs or work? Do you have a strong connection to their end mission or purpose?
All of those things are great reasons to give as the more connected you are the better donor you will be and the more you’ll care and that in turn helps the organization.
Does this organization make you feel good? Do their stories give you the warm and fuzzies? Are they fun? Do you feel any shame in publically supporting them?
Giving should make you feel good and be fun so embrace it! Look for it!