How To Avoid Wasting Money When Giving To Charity

We know that those of us who are fortunate enough to have extra money should give some of it back to society. Not only is it good for others, it’s good for us. We get a feeling of satisfaction and goodwill from giving that’s hard to duplicate. Giving is part of a healthy financial plan. However, it’s hard sometimes to get over the feeling that giving is really wasting money.

I overheard a conversation the other day between two seemingly well-off women who were bemoaning the fact that they had given to a charity that had then put most of their money toward the CEO’s salary. They felt like the money was wasted and hadn’t helped anyone except the already loaded CEO

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7 Responses to How To Avoid Wasting Money When Giving To Charity

  1. Ashley says:

    As someone who works in the NGO world, I have a vested interest in making sure people donate to legitimate organizations (like mine). My recommendation is to look for a symbol on their website indicating that their practices have been reviewed by a third party, such as Better Business Bureau, Charity Navigator, or GuideStar. Also make sure to do research on the the types of programs the organizations administers and how effective they are – don’t be afraid to ask questions!

    Admittedly, it is helpful for us NGOs when we get unrestricted funds that can help us run our operation (lights and office supplies cost money!), but you definitely want to look for an organization that’s not paying their management exorbitant salaries.

  2. Stephan says:

    this is definitely something that is popping up more and more often because of the ease with which scams are now run using the internet. 20 years ago running a succesful charity scam was not easy or easy to hide. Now, someone half way around the world can scam you and you will never know who it really was. pick your own, ignore unsolicited contact, and as posted in the article, consider giving your time, not only are you helping but you will be actually meeting the people you are helping and you can put a face to the problem.=)

  3. FinanceFreak says:

    Legitimate microlending sites can be a good way of cutting out the middleman and helping deserving parties directly.

  4. Christy says:

    You should check out universalgiving.org as well. It is a great site that where you can donate both your time and money, and the great thing is that they vet their organizations and evaluate them in everything from financials to leadership and therefore you are guaranteed to be donating to only top performing NGOs. Also, 100% of you donation goes to the organization, they take no cut, which is the coolest part.

    Check their site, it’s worth it!

  5. John Beidle says:

    Some great points are made here.

    I sincerely hope Washington does not change the tax deductibility of charitable donations. I am a firm believer in the right of an individual to determine where the funds for their public interests are spent and should not be restricted, infringed upon or abused by the Federal government.

    Please let your elected representatives know if you believe similarly.

  6. Disgusted says:

    ugh! Televangelists are the worst!!
    There is a certain young man on the TBN channel that is from Houston TX. and he & his family has a chauffeured limousine that he arrives at his dad’s church! His wife made the news not too long ago when she slapped an airline steward for not bringing her pillow fast enough!
    (Just goes to show

  7. Hope says:

    While I certainly think that there is a line (as disgusted mentions), please think twice and three times before deciding that your minister gets paid too much based on the car he drives.

    My minister had a used Cadillac for his family for a while…it was more affordable than you’d think at the time when gas prices were going up and up and no one wanted a big, gas guzzling car. It also worked well for driving long distances to see his kids and grandkids while keeping his wife comfortable (she has various ailments that make sitting for long distances difficult).

    But because he got so many judgmental comments about it and how the church must be paying him too much, he eventually had to get rid of it.

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