How To Choose The Right Charity

Reasons To Start Fundraising

How To Choose The Right Charity

If you’re looking for new, exciting ways to give back to the world but can’t choose the perfect charity to donate to, let us help you out.

If you’re looking for new, exciting ways to give back to the world but can’t choose the perfect charity to donate to, let us help you out.

Whatever the donation, it’s important that you raise cash for a cause you care about. Don’t pick a charity at random. In those hard-hitting moments when fundraising is at its toughest, and you’re asking yourself “why on earth did I agree to do this?” you need to remember who you’re raising money for and let that charity motivate you to the finish line.

Unfortunately, we can’t guess what causes have influenced, surprised and supported you throughout your lifetime – only you know that! But we do agree that choosing the lucky recipient of your donation is a toughie.

Your interests

If you’re stumped at which cause to plump for, start by looking at your interests. What are you passionate about, what gets you thinking? Choosing a charity you can relate to and empathise with makes the process of fundraising all the more fulfilling.

According to research published by the University of Kent, they discovered that donors tend to choose charities based on personal taste rather than the need of the cause; “a desire to help people they feel some affinity with, and a partiality for certain causes as a result of personal experiences.”

Perhaps family is a big part of your life, and the recent loss of a loved one has spurred your desire for change. Or you love working with animals and want to do all you can to help. Channel the enthusiasm into an amazing fundraising project.

Start big

If a specific charity hasn’t screamed out to you yet, dig a little deeper. Grab every tool you have at your disposal and really research what each cause brings to the table. Do your research, make the most of online resources and get to grips with each charity. Note down their mission statements, and crosscheck to see if they align with your own beliefs.

For a clearer picture of what your top 5 charities do; ask for their annual reports. Registered charities are legally required to report to The Charity Commission each year to ensure everything is above board – they provide pretty useful insights!

Ask the right questions

If words on a page aren’t enough, don’t hesitate to get in contact with the charity itself. Who better to speak to than the people who live and breathe the cause? Ask them what attracted them to the charity in the first place, how they hope to make change, and how your fundraising efforts could really make a difference.  

If you really want to get to the nitty-gritty, talk metrics. Speaking to TED Talks, American entrepreneur and humanitarian activist Dan Pallotta says “ask about the size of their dreams” and how they track/report their progress in order to take it to the next level. Also compare with other charities to check their finances match up.

If a charity avoids handing over information or pressures you into doing something that you’re not comfortable with, stop right there. Reputable organisations are open to talk about their finances; they don't use pressure tactics and are willing to send you further info about what they do. If something doesn’t feel right from the off, they’re not the charity for you.

Many larger charities have development departments in place designed to nurture new and existing relationships with donors. Make the most of this opportunity and really get to know the ins and outs of each cause before making a decision.

Check the legitimacy

As you research or once you’ve cherry picked your dream charity, check its legitimacy. Create a checklist that ensures you’re fundraising for the real deal. You’ve already collected the details about the charity – the name, address, etc.; and have hopefully spoken to someone either directly or over the phone.

If you’re still uncertain, check the internet for your charity’s past with words like ‘scam’ or ‘complaint’ next to its name. Sites such as GuideStar and CharityWatch are useful if you want to double check that your charity’s trustworthy.

Trust your instincts

You shouldn’t have the slightest doubt about the cause you’re fundraising for. From thorough research and discussions with the charity in question, you should feel nothing but confident about the campaign you’re about to embark on.

If you feel like something is missing, go back to the drawing board and search for a charity with similar goals and ambitions. It’s important that you’re comfortable fundraising for the cause you have in mind. If you don’t, you a) won’t feel motivated to reach your potential and b) will be hesitant to share your love of the cause with others.

Before making any kind of donation, be honest with yourself that it’s the charity for you.