For Christians planning to donate to charities, there are some things they need to know before they part ways with their hard-earned money. This is not to make it appear that you are being choosy with organizations to help but to ensure that you are helping only the legitimate ones.
In 2020 alone, some 240-plus million people were discovered needing some form of humanitarian aid, which meant that organizations and government institutions had their hands full. And with such a staggering number of individuals requiring aid, it's important that you choose the right groups to donate to since it would ensure that your money goes to the intended recipients.
Here are the top tips for Christian believers planning to donate to charities:
Don't brush aside donating to small charities. Many Good Samaritans make the mistake of thinking only big-name charities can download humanitarian aid to distressed and far-flung communities. The truth is that small charities can also distribute donations to beneficiaries even if they lack the resources that well-known charities have. So, bring out those checks and cash and consider giving to a lesser-known charity with a proven track record.
Donate money to non-humans, too. It's not true that you should only give donations to charities catering to humans. There are quite a lot of charitable institutions catering to animal welfare that you should include in your list of groups to donate to. Some charities rescue animals and place them in shelters, while others promote advocacies championing animal welfare, like Wild Animal Initiative and The Humane League.
Consult with charity recommenders. If you're quite unsure which charities to donate to, you should consider the list charity recommenders maintain. Two charity recommenders you should consider consulting with are Charity Navigator and GiveWell. They have some serious methods of evaluating charitable institutions based on their track records, so you should find some strong candidates for your planned donations.
Give to charities operating in poor countries. Sure, there are people needing aid from rich countries like the U.S. and European countries. But, if you want to make the biggest impact of your donations, prioritize giving to charities operating in countries that experience war, famine, and other serious problems. Remember that there are reasons why those countries are poor, which makes their people unable to access many basic social services that charities strive to fill in.
See if the charity you plan to give money to uses scientific methods. It's not enough that your choice of charity actually helps people; the charity should also be scientific in deciding who to help and how. If charities use available data and research in their approach, chances are, they have a pretty efficient way of doing their work. They would know how to allocate resources, where to source them, and how they should distribute the aid they have in their inventories.
Give what you can and what your heart dictates. The question of how much a Christian should give is one of the most enduring and hardest questions to answer. Fortunately, the Bible has the answer to guide those who are not sure about the right way to give. In 2 Corinthians 9:7, it says: "Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." From this verse, we can say that the proper way of giving is purely voluntary and should be what one's heart decide is proper. God would not fault you if you could only give 1% of your monthly earnings or if you could only donate once every three months to a charity of your choice. As long as the amount you're giving comes from a cheerful heart, God will bless it.
Start with a local charity. Before you consider donating to international charities, why not start with a charitable group that caters to local beneficiaries? This way, you can monitor the progress of the charitable program and even participate in the process in your small way. There are surely charities within your community that you can connect with and donate to, so this should be a great way to get you started in your philanthropic journey.
Diversify your donations. They say you should not put all your eggs in one basket; it's pretty much the same when making donations. Instead of donating your money to only one charitable organization, why not donate to two or three, or even more? This way, you can diversify your donations in a way that you get to help different charities with different causes and humanitarian programs.
As Christians, we should really focus on making our mark by donating to charities. With these tips as your guide, you should have a great experience helping others through the money you donate to charitable institutions.