It seems like every year, we’re swarmed with letters asking for money for good and worthy causes. It can be difficult — and often heartwrenching — to decide who to give our money to. Unless we’re wealthy philanthropists, we can’t afford to give to everyone who asks, and we must ultimately make the difficult decision to only donate to a few. We may often ask ourselves, “What are the best charities to donate to?” The answer is of course subject to personal opinion and causes, but there are some charities that are well-known to do good and reputable work, with most of their revenue going towards helping their cause, instead of being sunk into the organization itself. If you’ve been asking yourself, “What are the best charities to donate to?” or find yourself wondering if there are things you can donate other than money, read on!
What Should I Look For In a Charity?
Many charities have dollar breakdowns posted online — either on their own website or on watchdog websites — that show a potential donor how much of their money actually goes to fund their charity work and how much is sunk into the organization itself. Obviously, you want your money to make an impact, so finding a charity who puts the majority of its money into the charity work is your best bet. Finding a charity that matches your own personal convictions or causes is another good place to start — you want to be passionate about where you’re putting your money.
Many charities also will give you a tax write-off — make sure that if you make any charitable donation over $250 (this includes donating clothes or household items) that you get a receipt for tax purposes. No reputable charity will harass you for money or fail to provide you with the information you need to be an informed donor. They should have a clearcut mission statement and goals and have clear cut methods for achieving their goals.
I Don’t Have a Lot of Money. How Else Can I Help?
The question, “What are the best charities to donate to?” can be tough if you don’t have a lot of revenue coming in, but still want to make a positive impact. However, clothing donations and donations of household items that you no longer need and are in good condition can be a great way to start. They often have a twofold use, as well. Some charity organizations can sell your clothing donations at a store they run to raise capital for their mission and of course, the clothing can also be directly donated to those who need it. This can also be a more direct way to make sure you’re making an impact. It can be tough to trace money, but with tangible items, you’ll know that they’re being put to good use.
Are You Sure It’s Okay to Donate Used Clothes?
Many charitable organizations take donations of used clothes! Besides, there are plenty of other advantages to donating gently used clothes. One such advantage is helping to save the environment! You’d be surprised by how many people simply throw out good wearable clothing once they’re done wearing the items. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, your average American will toss 10 pounds of clothing in the landfill every year. While this may sound like a shocking amount, we also go through almost 20 billion garments every year as a country. There’s room for the waste, but it doesn’t mean that it should be happening. Donating your clothing to a charity can help prevent such waste and give them a new life with someone who needs them.
For example, in 2006, three million pounds of secondhand clothing were repurposed through donations. Almost 100% of any clothing (or other household textile) can be reused or recycled and almost 50% of donated textiles are reused.
If you’ve been asking yourself, “What are the best charities to donate to?” start doing some research! There are sure to be charities that fit what you’re looking for and your budget. And remember: you don’t just have to donate money. Think outside the box!