4 Common Misconceptions About Donating to a Charity

Throughout the world, there is great poverty. After factoring the devastation left behind by wars and natural disasters, there’s simply too many people who are suffering and need help. The kind of help they need it with the things most fortunate people take for granted, things like food, shelter, medicine, clothing and education.

In the third world countries of Africa and Asia, the resources to help people are not readily available from within the countries themselves. It’s incumbent on people and organizations outside of these regions to help if at all possible. Fortunately, we live in a world where generous and caring people and businesses are willing to help in the form of charitable donations. In most cases, the donations are made through foundations or directly to the charities that are doing the good work.

A common problem charities and foundations encounter when trying to trying to fund raise is having to deal with misconceptions that keep some people from giving. In a effort address this misconceptions, four of the most common misconceptions have been selected below for clarification.

Small Donations Won’t Make a Difference

While it’s true that major corporations like IBM, Microsoft and Amazon will donate millions of dollars to important charitable causes, those amounts only cover a portion of the amounts that are needed to make a positive impact. The rest of the monies need to come from individuals. Of course, larger amounts will presumably make a bigger impact. Just the same, a whole lot of very small donations can suddenly add up to big numbers. There is no such thing as a donation that is too small. Every single dollar will bring a charity closer to fulfilling its mission.

The Only Reliable Charities are the Ones That Maintain Low Overhead Costs

Rightfully so, donor have an expectation that charities and foundations will operate in a fiscally responsible manner. To help prospective donors select the best and avoid the worst charities, watchdog publications like Consumer Report will give charities and foundations a rating. The rating system relies a lot on the charity or foundation’s ratio of donations to expenses. Most donors prefer charities that maintain expenses at about 15% of donations.

Unfortunately, that eliminates a lot of truly great charities that might have higher spending levels. Common reasons why spending levels might be higher include building infrastructure for a growing charity and the development and implementation of new programs. A reliable charity is one that is doing all it possibly can in earnest to make a difference.

All Charities Get Government Funding

The reality is only 20% of the charities and foundations registered in the US get any funding from government agencies. On top of that, very few charities get more than 20% of its resources from the government. It might surprise some people to find out that nearly 50% of all monies received by charities come from the sale of goods and services. Additionally, approximately 20% of all revenues come from membership fees, leaving the amount actually raised through donations at around 30%.

Charities Have Very Little to Offer the Communities in Which They Are Located

Nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is charities offer individuals and local businesses plenty of opportunities to get involved. If a corporation wants to inspire its employees to do a little volunteer work, local charities are more than happy to accept the help. They also provide donors and volunteers with certificates and acclaim that goes a long way towards identifying the individual or company as an active participant in helping others. From a marketing standpoint, this is a powerful thing for anyone to be able to put on their resume.

All things considered, it’s very important for those who have to reach out to those who don’t have whenever possible. No one is really keeping score. It’s simply a matter of each individual and company deciding for themselves what’s in their heart and what causes they believe are worthy of getting help.

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