I am a great believer in donating to charity. However, of late, I am becoming confused, with respect to the increasing number of charities seeking a donation.
According to Wikipedia, charitable giving is the act of giving money, goods or time, to the unfortunate. Either, directly or by means of a charitable trust or other worthy cause.
Sounds pretty straightforward and heart-warming. Yes! It feels good to be generous and helpful. Fulfilling an inner need to be benevolent.
With all of these worthy causes, how do we know if our donation helps to drastically improve or save people’s lives in a cost-effective way? How do we know if the aid that is put in place, is sustainable? There are a countless number of charities to choose from and many are doing good work. The question is. Where should I give to accomplish the most good?
What is the answer?
This is a difficult one to answer. Medical research, medical welfare, mental health, learning disabilities, children and youth, hearing and visual impairment, disability, hospice, hospitals and helping the aged, are just a few, within one category. Phew! This is just the tip of the iceberg.
There are a number of different categories.
There are local charities, British charities, and International charities. The High street has charity shops, the Banks and Post offices accept donations when an appeal goes public. We now have the lottery charities, which appear to be new on the scene.
In the past, the majority of the charity work was done by the church. Also, do any of you remember the large animal-shaped collection boxes, outside of shops and Post offices where you could pop a penny or two in? Let us not forget the charity workers who relentlessly jangle their collection boxes and offer us a flag and a pin. No matter what the weather, these charity heroes trudge the streets and stand in draughty shop doorways. I am proud of you all.
Here is the thing. How efficient is the management of these donations? What is the percentage left at the expense of soliciting them? Apparently, there are governing bodies who are responsible for monitoring charities. For starters, there is a Charity register and a charity commission. Overall charities are accountable to the people who donate.
Did you know that more than one million people-mostly children die each year, due to malaria? Insecticide-treated bed-nets that are relatively inexpensive can prevent these deaths. This is evidence-based fact. Perhaps we need quality research to identify the best use of our donations and identify ways of reducing the overhead costs of getting aid to the needy.
If there was a policy of one charity for all, where the donations were divided according to evidence-based need and effective use of funds, then that would solve my problem. There is another point that I would like to make, and that is my feeling that we should prioritise our children, the next generation, these are at the beginning of their lives and as such, deserve every opportunity for a good life.