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Donating to Solution-Based Charity Organizations

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Solution-Based Charity Organizations

Many of us get multiple appeals for donations each week. Requests for support from arts groups, charities that work to cure diseases, environmental organizations, humanitarian and disaster relief agencies, and many other groups arrive in our mailboxes and inboxes regularly. With only a limited amount of time and funds to donate, how can we choose which charities to support?
  1. Decide how much money and/or time you can afford to give.
  2. Next, search your heart for causes near and dear to you. Do you have strong feelings about saving the environment for future generations? Do photos of hungry children call you to action? Are there a number of different causes that you would like to support?
  3. Once you’ve narrowed your choices, begin exploring the types of charities that work for that cause. All legitimate charities maintain websites, and you should be able to glean quite a lot of information from them. If you would like to know more, call the organization. Most charity staffers are happy to talk about the work they do.
  4. Check the legitimacy of the organizations that are doing work that appeals to you. Canada Revenue Agency lists all charities on its website, and provides information about their activities.

Effective Charities

Put the charities you’ve chosen to one last test: are they effective? The key to this is whether or not the programs of the charity provide at least a partial solution for the problems that they address. (Unless, of course, they’re aid agencies dealing with crisis situations.)
Let’s take a charity that works with a difficult ongoing problem to use as an example. Global Family, a Canadian charity, runs a program in Nepal that aims to reduce human trafficking. More than 12,000 young girls aged 9 to 15 are trafficked from Nepal each year, taken or lured from their homes and sold into domestic slavery or prostitution.
Global Family oversees a project called the "Daughter Project” that has been operating in Nepal since 2010. The Daughter Project has two main thrusts:
  • Rescue. Volunteers work with local authorities in cities in India and Nepal to locate missing girls, and then house them in safe shelters. In the shelters, girls receive medical care and counseling as they prepare to reintegrate into their families and communities.
  • Prevention.Volunteers in various communities work with at-risk girls to make them less vulnerable to human traffickers. Girls are invited to join clubs, where a 44-part curriculum is delivered. The course helps to build community and self-esteem, teaches social skills and healthy habits, and encourages girls to realize their potential. The program helps to ensure that girls are not susceptible to traffickers.
This particular project has the right elements to be effective. The shelter programs address the urgent need of stolen girls, and the prevention programs help to reduce the number of trafficking victims.

Supporting a Charity

You may choose to provide financial support to a charity or to volunteer, or to do both. Charities often need people with office skills, fundraising ability, or experience with doing research. Social media mavens are always in demand, and writers, photographers, and videographers can help to put together marketing materials.
Be part of the solution – support a solution-based charity of your choice!

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