Nothing beats the fulfilment of sharing generously towards supporting a cause you believe in! Here are a few tips on how to do so smartly and safely.

It's always the right time to give back. If you're contemplating donating to a charity, then this is the sign you need to go right ahead and do it. Here are a few tips on the best way to go about your first (or your fiftieth) donation. 

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1. Research your chosen charity

There are plenty of worthy charities out there that are in need of help. Choose one that you feel the most passionate about, but also make sure to see that they are a legitimate charity. It's not unheard of for a modus operandi to pose as a fake charity simply to scam people out of their goodwill. Always make sure that the organisation you pick is trustworthy and transparent. The Philippine Council for NGO Certification offers a list of accredited non-profits that are trusted, effective, and accountable.  

2. Know where your money goes

Donating to a cause doesn't automatically mean your money goes to buying food for the hungry or clothes for the needy. Some organisations will use a huge chunk of donations on administration fees and fundraising expenses. If you want your money to go into proactively helping a cause, a good tip is to ask a representative about how they deal with their finances. Any transparent, trustworthy organisation will be happy to explain its breakdown to you. If you aren't comfortable with how a group is planning on using your donation, you can always find a different cause to support (there are plenty!). 

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3. Give directly

It's always better to cut out the middleman when donating to a cause. These include persons or even third-party websites that may end up getting a chunk of your donation (as fees), or even delaying your donation altogether. Check your chosen charity's website and see if there is a direct route to donate towards their cause. Chances are all the information you need is on their website! 

4. Don't feel pressured

Sometimes, there's a lot of pressure towards donating to a cause. However, charity shouldn't be forced and should come from a place of willingness. If you aren't comfortable giving, then perhaps it's best to delay a donation to a time when you're able to give more freely. This is particularly true for people who want to give, but need to focus on other priorities for the moment.

5. Remember that it doesn't have to be money

Plenty of people forget that donating money isn't the only way one can donate. Aside from in-kind donations such as books, food, and clothes, people are also able to donate their time towards a cause they believe in! It doesn't have to just be cash, donating can mean anything under the sun that can bring benefit towards a cause. 

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