To quote Anne Frank, “No one has ever become poor from giving”. But if you are not careful enough, your act of charity may not end up creating a positive impact. This is because not just how much you donate, but where and under what conditions you donate can also make a big difference. Given that countless people and causes are in need of help, it is your duty to make sure that your donation is used in the right spirit. Here’s a look at some of the mistakes to avoid while giving to charity.
Donating on an impulse
It’s a fact that not every donated penny goes to well-run and legitimate charities. If you are not cautious while giving to charity, a dubious charity organization or even a con artist may become the beneficiaries of your kind act. In this regard, making a charitable contribution on an impulse isn’t a good idea at all. Many-a-times people are motivated by a phone solicitor or a fundraiser standing at a street corner to donate to various causes. If you are ever faced with such a situation, do not give in to their request straight away. Ask them to send you a mail so that you have some written documentation. Be sure that you are giving your money to a non-profit and legitimate charity.
Contributing in a restricted manner
As a donation giver, you may feel strongly about a certain charity program and earmark your contribution to be used in a specific way. This may work fine if you are making a big donation. But small donations that come with strings attached can cause a headache for the charity organization. This is because donors often want to support the charity programs through their money. But no one actually bothers about the administrative cost needed to run the program and fulfill the wishes of such donors. Unrestricted gifts can help non-profit organizations to survive.
Trying to donate to too many causes
Rather than getting swept by the spirit of giving and responding to way too many causes than you can actually fund, it is better to have a clear view of your donation priorities. Try to determine what causes you would like to support and then go about thinking how you want your help to be associated with the cause. For instance, if you want to fund child education, decide whether you are going to support a charitable school or fund a scholarship or provide help by funding books and other educational necessities.
Waiting till the last moment to donate
There’s no gain in holding back your intended donation and giving it at the last moment. If you intend to donate time-sensitive gifts like Christmas presents to a charitable organization, you have to make sure that they are presented well in advance so that the gifts reach the intended recipients on time for the festival. If you want to include your donations for your yearly tax reductions, make sure that you contribute before 31st December to be able to include the amount in the current year’s tax calculations.