Adapted from Charity Navigators “Giving Tips”
1. Follow your charitable passions:
There are roughly 46,500 social organizations in Ecuador. Don’t support an organization that doesn’t match your values and goals. From helping animals, saving the rainforest, to caring for abused women or making sure children from rural areas have access to education, there’s an organization out there that aligns with your passion. Take the time to explore what’s available and to check (not just assume) that it offers the programs and services which match your charitable interests.
(To view the registry of social organizations working legally in Ecuador, please visit: http://www.sociedadcivil.gob.ec/directorio)
2. Ensure the organization is proficient, transparent and powerful:
Financial Health: Organizations that are financially healthy are often efficient with their use of money and have created sustainable revenue sources allowing them greater flexibility and freedom to pursue their charitable mission.
Accountable & Transparent: A charity that partakes in consistent reporting, readily shares information to the public and partakes in good governance is less likely to engage in unethical activities than a charity without these habits.
Results: Knowing an organization’s accomplishments is a crucial step in ensuring a good fit for your donation dollar. The main reason an organization exists is to make an impact in their area of work; and they should be able to articulate their successes to their donors.
3. Recognize that 100% of your donation cannot go only towards programs:
Many a charity, in an attempt to foster confidence, claim that 100% of your donation goes towards programs. Stating this percentage is unrealistic and won’t change the fact that every charity still has bills and expenses to pay. From administrative and fundraising costs to utility and office bills, a charity must pay basic infrastructure and sustainability costs. Donors need to abandon this “programs only” expectation and instead, focus primarily on results and on supporting efficient charities that have a reasonable level of overhead expenses.
4. Share your intentions and make a commitment:
What makes a charity successful? Simple- it’s supporters! Once you have found a charity that matches your passion, don’t hesitate to tell the charity of your donation plans so they can count on you as a partner in their efforts to bring about real change.
5. Follow your donation:
Once you’ve donated to your charity of choice, don’t forget to check in to see the progress your investment has made to the organization. If your charity can’t tell you what kind of results they created from your gift, find one that will.