Give what you can

Giving to charity is usually a good thing but there are times when I’m weary to donate. I’m all for giving to a good cause but I don’t know if my donation is going to be used for the right reasons. I don’t want to have to worry about donating and finding out that the money is going to pay for some guy’s new car. I want to have a peace of mind knowing that my donation is helping out someone.

Bad charities are giving the charity sector a bad reputation. There are always people out there who will take advantage of the generosity of donors. It’s sickening to hear that there are charities out there that will retain eighty percent of the donation for themselves to help pay for fund-raising.

Charities should be run by volunteers whose time is valuable yet should not need compensation. They should enroll people on a voluntary basis to ensure that there’s no corruption. Give them a certificate of recognition or a pat on the back or something. Giving them something of monetary value is a bad idea because it could possibly lead to them getting greedy. I would like to give most people the benefit of the doubt and believe that most of them are not corruptible but they’re only human.

There are a lot of people in Canada that donate to charity, so much that there should be some sort of agency that will look after the charities. In the US, they have charitywatch.org to help them weave out bad charities. They are the watchdog who research and evaluates charities from across the country to ensure that the money donated is being used wisely.

In 2006, Canadians donated $8.5 billion which is a lot of money. Donors would hope that their donations are going towards a good caused but if charities are using part of that money to pay their workers, how much of it would go to the people who actually need it. Money can corrupt a lot of people and it takes a strong willed person to not get sucked in.

I’m not immune to it either. I don’t donate to charity out of the goodness of my heart. I donate to charity because it means a higher tax refund. Does that make me a bad person? On one hand, I’m helping those who are in need but on the other hand, I’m only doing it because it benefits me. I don’t donate to just any charity though. I actually pick the one that I think will have a greater impact on the needy. So far, I’ve only donated to a few charities: Make Poverty History, the Terry Fox Foundation, and the Canadian Red Cross

I plan to make more donations this year but I haven’t set a specific amount. I tried to contribute $20 per month if I can afford it. It might be easier if it was deducted from my pay cheque before the money gets deposited into my bank account but as it stands, I’m already losing a large chunk of my salary to taxes.

Money is tight these days so not too many people are able to donate. I hope that when they do donate, it’s for a good cause. I’ve heard of people donating but they’re not actually donating anything but on paper it looks like they are. So in the end, they’re not actually doing any good.