There is a graphic floating around facebook right now encouraging people to “THINK BEFORE YOU DONATE.” It list several charities and why you should not donate to them and then lists several charities that are worthy of your contributions.
I have so many thoughts about this. Here are just a few.
First, get your facts rights. Snopes calls the information “mostly outdated and inaccurate.”
Second, I support some of the “bad” charities on this list. Example? March of Dimes. When I was pregnant with Eleanor, I went into pre-term labor at 27 weeks. I was in and out of the hospital on several different medication to stop my labor and prevent contractions. Know who is responsible for the development of many of those treatments? That’s right…the March of Dimes. I will continue to support their mission, as I know of many, many children (including my own) who are here today because of their work. I also give to Goodwill. Not so much because I believe in their mission, but because sometimes I have junk that I don’t want, but someone else will. For me, it’s more about avoiding the landfill.
Last, giving is and should be a personal choice. Saving babies is important to me. Maybe something different is important to you. Whatever it is, find someone who supports it and give to them. Now, I don’t advocate giving your money away to TV evangelists, but if that’s your thing…good luck. If you want to make sure that the organization that you are giving to is reputable, check out some legitimate sources. Charity Navigator is great for researching where your money is going, and although it is a little outdated, you can check out Forbes Magazine‘s list of 200 charities. Both of these will let you decide what’s important to you and find a way to support it. As for me, I am more concerned about outcomes than CEO salaries, as I believe sometimes you have to pay someone a lot to get positive results. But that’s just me. Decide on your cause, do your research and find a place that you feel good about giving. But don’t let an inaccurate graphic on Facebook determine where your money goes.