We often have doubts when giving to charity. The Good Cause Co. have critically evaluated over 50 of Australia’s largest and most well recognised charities to help resolve those doubts. Finally! We now know which charities are really helping those in need. We also know which charities we should avoid until they show they can do better.Read More
Every year, twice a year, on ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day, most of us take time to remember those who fell victim to war and pay respect to the hardship they suffered in order to secure our freedom. Their service should not go unrecognised. This leads us to the question, if you want to support Australian veterans and their families, who should you donate to?Read More
Most Australians have benefitted from decades of economic growth and rising average incomes, but some in the community continue to be 'left behind'. Dishearteningly, around 5 per cent of adult Australians are estimated to have experienced deep social exclusion at some time in their life. The Good Cause Co. has evaluated some of Australia’s most well known charities to help you understand who will make the most of your donation to help those in need.Read More
Some of the most well-recognised Australian charities have close ties with religion. If you think spiritual guidance is important, the question remains: which religious charity should you support to improve the lives of disadvantaged Australians? The Good Cause Co. has evaluated some of Australia’s largest religious charities to help answer this question.Read More
In Australia, mental illness is extremely common. This review will help you decide which mental health charities are worth supporting. Who demonstrates that they will use your donation to improve the lives of those suffering from mental illness? The Good Cause Co. have evaluated three of Australia’s largest mental health charities to help answer this question.Read More
In Australia, we're lucky enough to have access to high quality emergency assistance, no matter where we are. However, providing these services is not easy or cheap. So, who should you donate to if you want to ensure that this quality of emergency service continues across Australia? The Good Cause Co. has evaluated three of Australia’s largest emergency services to help answer this question.Read More
In Australia, there is no escaping chronic disease. In fact, more than 11 million Australians reported having at least one chronic disease in 2014-15. Which charity should you donate to if you want to help minimise the impact of chronic disease in Australia? The Good Cause Co. have evaluated some of our country's largest chronic disease charities to help answer this question.Read More
If nothing breaks your heart more than the thought of animals being neglected or abused, you probably want to give money to an animal charity. But who should you give to? The Good Cause Co. has evaluated three of Australia’s most well known animal charities to help answer this question.Read More
Right now in Australia it’s tough being a disability charity. The introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has meant huge disruptions to the way disability charities are funded and how they operate. Who demonstrates that they will use your donation to further improve the lives of those with disabilities, beyond what is provided by the government? The Good Cause Co. have evaluated six of Australia’s largest disability charities to help answer this question.Read More
Australia’s healthcare system is set up to deliver world-class medical treatment to children suffering from serious and chronic illness. However, even with the best treatment, medical intervention will take an emotional toll on not only those affected by the illness, but for those closest to them. Because of this, there are a number of large charities in Australia that provide sick kids and their families with the support needed to cope with illness.
The Good Cause Co. have evaluated four of Australia’s most recognised children’s health charities to help you decide who to donate to.Read More
There are people in many parts of the world who suffer unimaginable hardships. This is often a result of birthplace, and other circumstances outside of their control. We often wonder how we can help; how do we know which charities actually help pull these people out of poverty? The Good Cause Co. has evaluated nine of Australia’s largest international development charities to help answer this question.Read More
You want to save the environment! Which environmental charity should you give to? The Good Cause Co. have evaluated 6 environmental charities to help you make that decision.Read More
There are many times in life when we may find ourselves wanting to give back. Many of us want to donate gifts to those in need, give money or volunteer. But what should you give? And who to? Which charities will make the most of your donation? In this article I will share with you tips on what it takes to give with impact so you can be sure you get the most of your giving.
TIP 1: Figure out what you care most about
It’s sounds a bit naff, but giving should always be motivated from the heart. There will always be plenty of charities seeking your donation. Unless you’ve figured out what is important to you, it’s going to be really hard to get the most from giving. Why? The problems that charities are solving are complicated and generally have no quick fixes. By committing yourself to a particular cause:
- you will get to know the problem and solutions more intimately
- you will have the chance to really understand who is working in the space and making a meaningful difference
- you will see how over time things can get better and you will know that you were a contributing factor to that improvement
- finally, and importantly, your motivation for giving will transform from one of guilt to one of making impact.
If you spend the time thinking about what social or environmental problem you care about more than anything else, and focus your giving attention onto only that problem for a good chunk of your life (say, 10 years), I guarantee you will feel more substantially more fulfilled, more confident, and more self-assured about your giving.
TIP 2: Decide what you have to offer
Charities will always benefit from money, but they may also benefit from your time, usable goods, or your networks. Depending on where you are in your life, figure out what makes sense for you to give right now.
Giving money is quick and easy for you. It is also great for the charity as it offers flexibility with how they use your money. There are several ways to give money, including:
- Traditional donations – This is the simple and traditional approach of giving to charity when you write a cheque, make a call or click on the ‘donate now’ button on a charity’s website and enter the amount you want to give.
- Crowdfunding – Crowdfunding is a fundraising approach where charities seek to fund a project by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people. Australia platforms for charities include Chuffed and Pozible.
- Giving circles – Giving circles are newest and most exciting thing in philanthropy right now. They are groups of individuals donate their own money or time to a pooled fund and decide together where to give these away to charity or community. Examples of giving circles in Australia include The Funding Network, Impact100, and 10x10.
Often when we think of volunteering we think of soup kitchens, but more and more charities are seeking a range of both skilled and unskilled volunteers. Volunteering is great for those that have either time or skills to offer. Here are a few websites that help charities recruit volunteers:
Many charities will take new and used good for their own use, to give to their beneficiaries or to sell for revenue. Remember that in all cases, charities are only looking for goods in good condition. To get an idea of what different charities are looking for, check out Give Now Other Ways or if you have bulk unused stuff, Good360.
Charities are always looking to expand their reach and build awareness. It may not feel like much, but publically supporting a charity (even without any fundraising), will help them engage with new networks. If you like hosting parties, running marathons or sharing stories on social media, do it for a particular charity.
There are other things that a charity might need that you might be able to offer. For example, one organisation I was speaking to recently had a need for function venues. Another had a need for cheap freight. Another wanted to know if I could introduce them to a friend of mine that worked in a major corporation. Who knows what you might have that's of value to a charity, which leads me to my next tip...
TIP 3: Reach out to charities you are interested in
In order to know that what you're giving is needed and to understand how it will be used, you need to be able to communicate with the charity. Reach out by email or phone to any charities you are interested in.
- Find out how they interact with donors – communication is essential for you to know you helped create an impact. If you reach out to a charity and don’t hear anything back, then the charity is not for you.
- Make sure that you give only what is needed - not all charities take on volunteers, accept donated goods, need facilities or can undertake fundraising, so find out what they’re after.
If you're having trouble identifying charities to donate to, this tool by ChangePath might help.
TIP 4: Do basic due diligence on the charity you are interested in
Before you give, always undertake some basic due diligence to make sure the charity is trustworthy and impactful. Just as you’d look at the accounts of a company you’re interested in investing in, you should look at the annual statement and impact statement for a charity you want to give to.
A basic due diligence will involve the following steps:
- Check for legal registration with the Australian Charities and Non-for-profits Commission.
- Review the financial statements and look for the auditor’s opinion. This should state in one-way or another that the accounts are legitimate and a true reflection of the charity’s state of affairs.
- Find out a bit more about the board and the executive team that is running the charity. Do they have the appropriate skills and background necessary to run the organisation?
- Review their Annual Report or Impact Statement to look for indicators that they are a high quality charity. High quality charities will have a clear strategy and direction, will have a theoretical basis for their activities, will evaluate their projects, will consult regularly with their beneficiaries, and will work with other organisations in the sector.
The Good Cause Co. specialise in charity due diligence. We will be releasing our basic due diligence of Australia's most recognised charities mid-2018. For more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is no doubt that giving with impact takes more time and thought then simply dropping a coin in an appeal cup. However, if you put the time and effort into thinking about giving effectively, you will reap the rewards of fulfilment. Is there better way to feel?
As spring sets in, their is an air of optimism and excitement in the world of 'impact'. It's the buzz word on everybody's lips. Investors are looking for impact. Social enterprises are trying to figure out how they create impact. Charities are measuring their impact. Corporations are being asked to show their impact.
The term 'social impact' has been adopted by the wider community and used with great enthusiasm, but often with little consistency. So what is impact?Read More
There is undoubtedly a strong emotional desire to, in some way, exist forever. Whether it through an incision in an old tree, memorial park bench, or a fund or trust that looks after your family, friends, or even better, your community into perpetuity, we are clearly strongly drawn toward the idea of existing beyond our lifespan.
The data shows this loudly and clearly.Read More
My dad called up the other evening frustrated with a large charity’s marketing strategy. They sent him another glossy pamphlet seeking donations, this time to help protect Filipino’s from future natural disasters. There were emotive stories and images about the damage caused by a previous typhoon and claims that his donation will help protect from further damage in the instance of another natural disaster.
My dad was frustrated because he wanted the facts, not handpicked sob stories! He wanted to understand the program logic. What work would they be doing?Read More
Which charity should you donate to when you’re feeling generous and want give away some of your hard earned cash?
It depends entirely on what you care about.
Before donating anything, first take a step back and figure out what issue you care about more than anything else. What problems in society make you feel sad, disappointed, frustrated or angry? What news articles capture your attention? Who do you think needs protection or support?Read More
You’ve recently received an inheritance that allows you to make a real difference in the world! Or so you thought. The giving experience can be extremely rewarding, but only if you have realistic expectations about what your money can achieve. Too often people expect to change the world with a single $20,000 donation, only to be disappointed.
What should you expect?Read More
We get it. You don’t want your donation to be wasted. You also want to make sure that as much of your donation gets to the cause as possible. But as tempting as it is, we plead with you, don’t focus on the charity’s administration and overhead costs! It is a poor indicator of the impact of your donation.Read More