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Supporting charities: do or don’t?

7 Aug 2016
by Linda Canter
Hunger, diseases, animals, natural disasters: there is a charity for everything. Many people would not start a project themselves but donate money on a huge scale instead. Why do we give money? Over 85 percent of the households in The Netherlands gives to charities, especially in the holiday season. We mainly give because we want to help, because it makes ourselves happier or because everybody does so. Generally speaking, we want everybody to be well and giving money is the easiest way to help. You feel good about yourself by helping another. But with these good reasons, why would you choose to not give to charity? Many people doubt whether the money reaches the destined places. We therefore rather donate to a charity which is close to us. We think this increases the control over our donations and what happens to it.

How to choose a charity?

I often support charities myself. My reason is not to feel better about myself but because some causes really affect me. For example, I have a weakness for animals. I cannot stand to see streets full of emaciated stray cats and dogs when being on a city trip. I ideally would take care of them all, neutering them and giving them a loving home. I therefore support numerous charities concerning animal welfare in The Netherlands and abroad. But how to choose a charity? It is actually quite simple. What does your heart go out to? Are you concerned about children who do not have access to proper drinking water, natural disasters devastating many lives or about people from your town who are living of the food bank? You do not have to support the big and well known good causes, there are also many smaller charities that do excellent work. Think about a local cause or a couple from The Netherlands that founded an orphanage in a poor country.

Supporting charity without money

If you want to give to charity on a regular base, it is important for you to not get in financial trouble. You want to do well but you cannot afford to donate money as much as you want? There are numerous charities you can support without having to give any money. For example, collect bottle caps for service dogs, do not throw away old clothes but put them in a special container meant for poor countries or donate your old phone to War Child, Unicef or Stichting Aap. They can get good money out of your old phone. If you shop via www.goededoelshop.nl, select a partner (e.g. bol.com and Zalando) and a percentage of the purchase wil be donated to the good cause of your choice. This is free of charge and will make online shopping even more fun.

Which charity are you supporting?
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