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Anyone, who donates money or other resources for charity, wishes his gift to bring the maximum benefit. Donors almost always do it because they can`t be indifferent. Prostobank.ua has studied what you should know or do to get more benefits from your donation.
It`s clear that if charity is considered as giving alms to beggars, the efficacy of the benefit isn`t important to a donor (though in this case, some people don`t want to make things worse through their donations). But when a person has a purposeful desire, time and resources to help someone, to try to make this world better, to relieve someone’s pain, he usually asks the question, where to start, and how to work to get useful results. This is what I tried to figure out in my blog.
The first rule: check the recipient of your donation
"But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. " A lot of people don`t really care whether the beggars are real. They read about them online, by SMS or in advertisements and don`t think that it can be a scam.
However, nowadays, fraudsters successfully abuse people’s generosity. Checking those who need help isn`t just useful, but can often prevent such abuse continuing. And we can say this not only about the financial help. It applies equally to sending SMS or distributing an ad.
Here is an example when a simple test could be useful. A respected person received from his friend a message about a child who urgently needed a rare blood type. And he forwarded this message together with the telephone number of the child’s mother to all his contacts.
Only then did it become known that the number was false. Every time someone made a call a certain amount was withdrawn from their account. That`s why if you want to help someone, make sure that it isn`t a scam.
It is better if you lose some money than if 60 of your friends do (if you send "request assistance" on behalf of the fraud, in the future your friend will not believe the message, even if he is able to help).
The second thing to check - whether someone needs your help in the form in which you can give it. Sometimes we put ourselves in a particular situation and forget that people can have different desires.
"Once a blind man with his daughter came up to a prominent businessman who was a charity giver and asked him for help. A businessman, who wished to remain anonymous, told us that the man needed money for surgery. He was offered the necessary surgery in Ukraine, involving the best specialists in this area, because the eye clinic was the part of the benefactor`s business. But when the man heard the proposal he said: "I will not do anything in Ukraine. Give me money, I will go to Israel and get my treatment there. "He didn`t agree to accept the help of the best Ukrainian doctors with a worldwide reputation. All offers were met with aggression from his side. Of course, there's a question: do you want to be treated, or do you want to go to Israel? "
Similarly, before you donate something to a charitable organization investigate it and check whether these projects are actually implemented (Read more about this below).
The second rule: ask, what kind of help is necessary
It doesn`t matter who your addressee is – a charity organization or those who directly need it. In any case, you must be sure about what exactly they need. For example, the situation in orphanages can be completely different. Some of them have been remodeled, and children are dressed properly, they are in good psychological condition and teachers spend a lot of time with them because the management was able to distribute the public and charitable funds they had received. Others are so poor that children go barefoot there. And this certainly isn`t an exaggeration. There are different reasons for it. The orphanages don`t get enough money (for example, if state funds are the only source), or, if for some reasons, the children don’t get the funds.
Clearly, in this case, we can transfer money to an institution only if we are sure that it isn`t a scam. Also it is better to provide some different kinds of help. You can ask the management what the children need and help with the particular things (contacts and the needs of some children's homes are available at http://www. detdom.info).
"Before you decide to help you must be sure that someone really wants this help. For example, all orphanages are full of soft toys. Sometimes we just want to get rid of soft toys because they are collectors of dust that causes allergies. In an orphanage, every child has a weakened immune system. Where is the good in this? – complains the curator of the All-Ukrainian Charitable Foundation "Star Dream" Ruslan Bakhtyyev. - And if you call a children's home, they will ask you to buy any children’s development game or to buy some wooden toys for kids who need to develop a tactile sense, etc. And you will go to the orphanage with pleasure, because the thing you will bring is definitely needed".
The third rule: bring gifts that look good
Unfortunately, some people make donations on the principle of, "I would throw it away anyway". Of course in some orphanages children go barefoot, and they will be happy to get any second-hand shoes. Some shelters for dogs will be happy to get old shabby carpets that you want to throw into the garbage bin. But if you decide to donate something that you have previously used, try to make these things look good. If you don`t do it you can complicate the lives of the charity organizations that will direct your gift. "It often happens that an orphanage receives things that are dirty or very old and worn out. Well, what do we do with such things? Then it’s necessary to have these dirty things dry-cleaned which usually means some additional expense. So a donor should do some work if he wants to contribute the most effective help ",- says Ruslan Bakhtyyev.
There are other reasons why appearance is important to children. "For September 1, the employees of our fund gathered and bought school uniforms for each child individually, so each child had the clothes of his size. And when a man comes to the children's home to adopt a child, he wants to adopt a beautiful well-groomed child, with intelligent eyes. Even such small things as the appearance helps to develop harmony in a child`s heart, and the chances of the adoption increase thanks to this factor ",- explains Ruslan Bakhtyyev.
The fourth rule: donation to charities are often more efficient than direct assistance
The Russian tragedy in Beslan is one of the best examples of the effectiveness of charities. At that time people quickly collected large amounts of money. But parents of the dead children did not need financial compensation, but a professionally delivered rehabilitation program. And it was organized by specialized funds. Charitable foundations are constantly dealing with certain social problems. That`s why they can explain how to help and what kind of help is needed. Also they can direct the benefactor`s aid to one of their projects.
It is especially useful if the benefactor doesn`t have an opportunity to study what is necessary for an orphanage. Of course it is much better if the fund spends your money to buy some socks and mittens for orphans than if you spend the same amount to buy books for the children's home with a huge library.
Some Ukrainian people think that it is better to donate money directly. "A lot of them think that they can`t trust their money to the funds. And why not?" Well, they launder money. "But it is only the most foolish and useless form of money laundering that exists. Because of the law it is not profitable for the fund to take part in such activity. And we are glad that it is so",- says Ruslan Bakhtyyev. Mr Bakhtyyev thinks that all funds are open and widely known, honored and aren`t involved in shady schemes, because they care for their reputation.
However, there is one legitimate question: how to choose from among the little-known funds the most respectable? The answer is simple. First of all you have to study the website of the organization. It gives you the description of the fund and defines the most necessary kinds of help.
On the website you can see the information about fund`s projects and benefactors. For example, the fund can often produce a large number of expensive glossy brochures. In this case, we can conclude that the organization does not save money, so doesn`t really need them.
The next step is a telephone call to the fund. "So you can see whether you are treated as a partner or a friend. If you want to provide some services, and the Fund is not engaged in real work, your help there will not be needed. The hardest thing is using volunteer work", - Ruslan Bahtyyev says.
Finally, make sure that the fund has specific projects and specific people that help the fund. In a case like that you can trust your money to the fund. "According to the law 80% of money coming to the fund must be spent on charity, - Ruslan Bakhtyyev says. - And the fund can`t get 1000 orphans or 1000 persons with disabilities from thin air, because it is easy to check. In addition, the money movement scheme is very short. The fund receives money and then sends it to an orphanage, where it is spent on a product or a service. And it is also very easy to check. We are open to anyone, anyone can come and ask. Besides, there are children in an orphanage. You can always ask whether our children have been to Artek children’s camp or to the circus, or whether they get any medical care".
The fifth rule: ask how your money is spent
Of course, you think it isn`t right to track the money, which you have donated in good faith. However, such behavior by the donor often brings many benefits. Typically, only young people of about 30 years old have such a big interest in the Fund’s affairs. Funds welcome benefactors who are actively interested in the fund`s financial statements, cash flow and expenses."I support the inspection of the funds, because it's important for most of the funds. If such a Doubting Thomas comes and makes sure how his money was spent, he can then bring many people to work with our foundation! So I recommend that Ukrainian funds welcome this kind of person. It is one thing when you don`t know whom to thank and another when a man comes and you can share the joy of giving with him ",- Ruslan Bakhtyyev says.
In addition, by asking how the funds were spent, you can make sure that they have been spent effectively. Also, if you want to be sure of its efficacy you can direct your money to certain specified requirements.
The sixth rule: do not be anonymous, this way you can be more useful
Contrary to received opinion in society, charity mustn`t always be anonymous. This is especially true in cases when the benefactor is a famous, successful or influential person. However, according to the representatives of charitable organizations, to forego anonymity is useful even when the donor isn`t famous. "Any charity should publicise its benefactors, as an example for others to follow, - the curator of the All-Ukrainian Charitable Foundation "Star Dream" Ruslan Bakhtyyev says. - When we have the right to talk about a specific person, another one gets a desire to follow this example."
In any case, even if you don`t want to talk about your actions, you can always talk about the help in general. Perhaps someone is interested and it will bring more benefits than donations made in silence.
The seventh rule: do not hesitate to help with small amounts or without them
Probably a lot of people have been in a situation where they want to help someone who needs help, but don`t have much money. However, the view that "a couple of dollars will not save the situation and will not help anybody" is not right. Most money is collected through people who donate small amounts. There are people who want to help but think that "charity is for the rich. But I think that you will not become poor, if you donate 5-10 dollars to support those who are in need. Only together can we solve social problems. And the experience of other countries where charity has become a part of every person’s life shows that large amounts of money are raised thanks to large groups of good people who donate a little money ",- Ruslan Bakhtyyev says .
Another way for people to help is through their work or volunteering. According to charities, caring people with moderate income often become volunteers, because they have both the time and the opportunity to help by directly participating. Typically, this assistance is important both for organizations that undertake a project and also for the recipients. For example, in winter some animal shelters need simple physical help with the transportation of sand to cages because workers simply can`t cope on their own. Children in boarding schools need communication, the ability to “get out of the box”, help with school subjects. Regular communication and knowledge will be more useful than any toy, because they can`t buy it with donated money.
Finally, in some orphanages, where teachers don`t develop the habit of thrift in children, the donation of goods generates consumerism. "Once our children went to the sea. Our children stayed with the kids who came from Moscow. And when the Russian orphanage went back, they left a lot of CD players there. The children said that they did not need them, because their sponsor would give them more next year. And they were good musical devices. The orphanages should cultivate thrift in children, understanding that the person who brought these gifts worked hard”. Volunteering does not call for such behavior on behalf of children. In addition, according to representatives of charitable organizations, children like when a volunteer comes, and when a potential father comes, they are happy to communicate with them.
And of course not every volunteer activity requires as much time as tutoring. A person who sincerely wants to help, but has little time, has different options. For example, he can print and stick ads about the homeless kitty picked up by a volunteer service. Maybe your ad will precisely find a house for an animal. You can join the movement "Letter of Angels", whose members, once a week, write a quick note to kids who are seriously ill (children and their parents confess that such support is very helpful). There are many ways to make a difference, spending very little time or money, and doing a lot of good.