Sunday, February 5, 2012

Charitable Giving

In my previous post, I mentioned how BeadforLife was a catalyst in changes in my spending habits. Everywhere I turned last summer UGANDA kept popping up. I was at the library for the tween summer program with my kids and picked up a book that was displayed on top of one of the book cases called “Ryan and Jimmy: And the Well in Africa that Brought them Together” It was about a little boy (Ryan) from Canada and how he ended up building a well in Uganda.

One day I was searching on the internet for an Africa shaped cookie cutter to make at my BeadforLife party and I landed on a blog about adoption from Uganda, which led me to reading about various charities that tugged at my heartstrings. All in all that summer (not to say I was a Grinch prior to all this) I was much like the Grinch whose heart grew “three sizes larger that day.”

So maybe you are like me and you are motivated to help others, donate your time, money and resources but you want to be sure your donation is going to a group that is really going to be faithful with your donation. The Better Business Bureau has a list of charities that it rates, lists their standards and reports, and warns of possible scams currently going on. It is a great resource to help make your own decision.

I was very surprised to find that a popular charity that I had donated to in the past was not recommended by the BBB because they didn’t provide enough information to the BBB. Not particularly alarming, but what they did provide to the BBB was the salary of the head of the organization. It was disturbingly large to me and made me decide not to donate in the future to them.

Not all charities are large enough or National enough to make the list. You can request the BBB to review an organization and if they get enough inquiries they may do so. Some charities also make their financial records available for review.

Much like my introduction to Fair Trade, this is an introduction on charitable giving and look for future posts about some of my favorite charities.

And as a final note, little Ryan from the book that I mentioned above is all grown up now and his Canadian charity is still building wells, not just in Uganda but all over the world.

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