Why to donate to a Charity and Which Charity to Donate, Emdad Khan
We built two charities, SNMC and CBET in Ottawa. SNMC (www.SNMC.ca) is a registered grass root, multi ethnic community based vibrant charity, started in 1999, 17 years ago, run 30+ regular programs for kids, youths, sisters and seniors covering spiritual, social, education, sports and family issues and completed in December 2014, a modern masjid and community center by local effort by raising $8 Million.
By 2014-15 CBET raised $40,000 and awarded 200 scholarships in Ottawa and Bangladesh, to make changes in life by offering scholarships to needy students in post secondary education in Ottawa and rural Bangladesh.

We show the benefits of donating to a charity cause and the desired characteristics in a charity organization. We conclude with tips for small charities for fund raising

Why to Donate?
Here are five reasons to donate to a charity, based on the research of the Harvard Business School as well as other experts and websites [1].
– Donations are CRA tax deductible:
– Giving to charity improves our sense of well-being:
– Supporting a cause help us informed about issues of social injustice:
– Giving to a charity, out of spiritual conviction, help us to strengthen our spiritual life:
– Volunteering with a charity may result in physical and social benefits.
How to Select a Reliable and Transparent Charity
Charity efficiency [2] is what percentage of donated money goes towards supporting the organization’s actual mission. Unlike small local charities, established larger charities, employ a huge staff and manage hundreds of millions of dollars. We award top marks to those that pass along 90% or more of donated money to the charity or institution being supported.

Fundraising Costs: While salaries and overhead costs add up, fundraising can be an even bigger expense. Galas, direct mail outs and lotteries are popular fundraising vehicles, but they come with significant operating expenses. Ideally, we want to see charities spending less than $10 per $100 raised.

Governance & Transparency: While efficiency is essential, charities need a strong governance in place to ensure donors’ money is being spent wisely. Each charity adheres to standard non-profit governance models and whether it lets donors know exactly how their money is being used.

Cash Reserves: Everyone needs to plan for a rainy day and charities are no different. Well-run organization needs a reserve fund to ensure bills can be paid should donations dry up. That requires a delicate balance. We give top marks to charities that hold 3 months to 3 years of reserves.

Transparency, Accounting and Auditing: Charities as a good practice need to notify the donors how the money is spent by annual report, and full accounting report by showing yearly income and expenses, and also list of directors and where applicable, as per CRA rule, perform external audit

Charity Fraud: In some cases, some charities are not properly registered or follow good governance rather they do fraud with donors money. So it is important, we be careful to verify which charity we donate, be special careful to donate to overseas charity.

How to make a Proper Charity Donation Decision?
Giving is a personal decision and we have to decide where to donate our money. Giving is much like investing except that the payoff is measured in social benefit rather than as a financial one. Identify the causes we are passionate about.
Donation to a small local charity [3] can maximize benefit with immediate effects
Questions We Should Ask [4]
– Is the nonprofit actually a registered charity? We can find this out by visiting CRA website or search by the name of the charity
– Are there complaints against the charity’s practices?
– Do the charity’s marketing materials clearly state the problem and explain what they are doing to help?
– What percentage of donations go to support the cause, say 90%. but not spend 60 to 70% as overhead.

Tips for Fund Raising for Small Charity
We have given reasons to donate to a charity and how to identify a transparent quality charity. Now, we conclude with tips for fundraising for small charities, based on our own experience of developing and running two successful established small charities.
Design a proper eye catching appealing mission statement, SNMC has success and progress through community services and CBET has Change a life by giving in education
Design a proper logo reflecting charity mission, see ww.CBET.ca and www.SNMC.ca
Design and persistently display a visible and tangible motivational phrase for donation, SNMC has ‘Donate a prayer sport for $2,500 only’ or CBET ‘sponsor one scholarship of $175 only’
Prepare banners and poster of good quality to be displayed to the donor base on special occasions, events, fund raising trips or occasions.
Have weekly newsletters and add donors to the mailing list on all events and occasions. Keep the donors up to date with the progress of project and how donated fund is spent
Sent in time thank you letters and CRA tax receipts
Use modern web based methods for fund raising by PayPal or credit cards
Also in your events and activities have nice looking donation boxes and debit credit machines as hardly anyone uses cash any more
Have a special appeal to donate a small amount regularly
Have a target and show progress on target
Make alliances with other charities and organizations. Attend their activities and invites others to join your activities
Work out with your donors and well wishers to have all electronic tools and give some useful services to the local community and donors, like kids, youths, seniors programs or social events
Let us benefit by donating to a charity and identify the right cause and right charity to donate. We also provided some tips for small charity how to motivate donors to make their charity a viable one.

Image references:

1) http://life.gaiam.com/article/5-reasons-donate-charity
3) http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2011/04/10-reasons-why-i-would-never-donate-to-a-major-charity-or-how-to-be-a-superhero-part-2/
4) http://charity.lovetoknow.com/What_Percentage_of_Donations_Go_to_Charity

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