Although donating to charity is clearly a good thing to do, fewer and fewer people seem to be giving. Many well-meaning people with good intentions stop shot when it’s time to write a charitable check, often due to the myths and misunderstandings that surround charitable contributions. Here are some common myths about giving that you should know.
I Can’t Give Enough
If you’re experiencing financial difficulties yourself, it makes sense to tighten your belt and limit your spending. If, however, you still feel compelled to give, don’t feel that a small donation won’t help. The truth is that every dollar matters to nonprofit organizations. When taken together, a lot of small donations can really add up. Remember too that you have more to offer than just cash. Volunteering for an organization is a great way to contribute and costs only time.
Charities Abuse Money
It’s big news when a charitable organization gets caught using donated money improperly. It does happen, but not nearly as often as people think. There are almost 2 million nonprofits operating in the United States. Of these, only a minute number have misused funds. The reason these indiscretions make such big news is that they’re rare and therefore noteworthy. Don’t let a few prominent bad apples turn you sour on important charitable organizations.
If you do have concerns about how an organization will put your money to use, check them out through the Better Business Bureau or a watchdog organization before giving.
Charities Can’t Make a Lasting Impact
Charities can, of course, support medical research, shelter the homeless, feed the hungry and perform other tangible services. Many potential donors, however, view these services as stopgaps that help in the moment but don’t affect lasting change. This is far from accurate, however.
Many nonprofit organizations jump into politics, vigorously lobbying for legislation that can help the communities they serve. Most charities have the legal right to spend up to one-fifth of their annual budget on lobbying activities.
If you’re considering making a donation to a good cause, don’t let these common myths stop you. Pick a charity that matters to you and get in touch. Ask questions and get the facts about where your money goes and how much good it can do.