It’s Giving Tuesday on November 29, the biggest day of the year for donating to charities. And it’s worth nothing that Americans donate a lot on Giving Tuesday and all through the year. In fact, they gave nearly $500 billion to charities in 2021 and there is no shortage of great causes to donate to — from children’s, family, homeless and social services to environmental causes, animal welfare charities, healthcare and the arts.
But, if you’ve wondered whether you’re donating effectively to causes that do the most good, you’re not alone. In fact, several organizations, like GiveWell, have made it their mission to research the charities that save or improve lives the most for every dollar they receive. They recommend a short list of top high-impact, cost-effective charities each year and are fully transparent, providing research free to people who want to give.
If you’d still like to decide for yourself, here are few tips to guide you:
o Think about your own values, interests and passions — what motivates you or inspires you? If you love nature or you’re concerned about climate change, well, an environmental charity might fit the bill. If you’re concerned about healthcare or poverty in your community, there are likely organizations close to where you live that could use your support.
o Local or global? Related to the first tip, think about where you think your philanthropy will make you feel like you’re doing the most good. Is it a global organization providing food or education to people far away? Or might your money be better spent closer to home?
o Do some research — Don’t simply write a check or give out your credit card information. Visit the websites of charities you’re interested in, or even call their local chapter and ask to speak to someone who can tell you more about why their organization deserves your money.
o It’s not just about money — While a financial donation can feel like the most immediate and impactful way to make a difference, not everyone can afford to give. That’s totally fine! Volunteering is a wonderful way to give and to connect with like-minded people as passionate as you are.
How do you decide which charities to give to? What are your favorite ones? Drop us a line and please share your thoughts with the Shop Talk blog community!
Did you know: The most effective charities
According to GiveWell, medicine and nets to prevent malaria and supplements to prevent vitamin A deficiency have the greatest value for every dollar donated. These are not the most top-of-mind causes but they help save the most lives each year.