You’ve been thinking about this for months, probably even years. You’ve been wrestling with this commitment, looking over your finances. But now, you’re finally ready to take the plunge and make a donation.


But where do you want it to go? To which organization, and which cause?

Picking an NGO (non-governmental organization) to donate to can be a tough job. It’s a big undertaking for someone who wants to make sure that they’re making a smart decision.

So how should you start?

Where can you find the information to compare and contrast charities? More importantly, how are you going to evaluate these organizations? What factors should you use to assess their value and efficiency?

The first step to picking a charity is deciding what you want from your chosen charity and the impact you want your donation to make.

Here are three questions to help you explore what charity to donate too:

Question #1: What are you passionate about?

It’s important to think about large-scale issues that really resonate with you. What problems in society, ones you may or may not face, rock you to your core?

Do you love animals? Does the idea of a dog or rabbit not having a home make you lose sleep at night? Or maybe promoting athletics to at-risk youth gets you excited. Do you find yourself reading articles on child sponsorship or a certain country in particular? What about gender equality? 

Whatever the cause is, from racial equality to community economic development, know what ignites you. It’s much harder to pick a charity and be pleased with your donation if you don’t take the time to determine what is most important you and in what area you want to make a difference.

ACTION: Write down the top three causes that you can really align yourself with. 

Question #2: What specific change do you want your donation to promote?

Once you’ve explored your passions, you should consider in what capacity you want your money to aid others. How exactly are you going to contribute to your cause of choice?

If, for example, you’re interested in women’s rights, do you want to donate to an NGO that gives agricultural tools to women in different countries, or do you want to fund a female empowerment chapter for teenage girls? Maybe, if you were an engineer, you’d want to encourage university age women to enter the STEM industries (science, technology, engineering and math) by donating to a scholarship program.

Taking the time to consider exactly how you want your donation to have an impact is crucial. Some examples to think of are below:

  • Education
  • Food and water
  • Sponsorship
  • Hands-on learning
  • Health supplies
  • Agriculture
  • Arts
  • Housing
  • Clothing
  • Environment

Question #3: Whom do you want to target with your donation?

It’s also important to consider the sphere of influence you’re looking for your donation to have; whom do you want to benefit from your contribution?

Maybe you’re passionate about empowering at-risk youth. Do you want your donation to target the youth in your local community, or do you want to address children across the world struggling with a specific issue?

ACTION: Make sure you know the demographic, place and grouping of people you are hoping to help with your donation:

  • Children
  • Animals
  • At-risk youth
  • Male / Female
  • Farmers
  • Environmentalists

To recap, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. What are you passionate about?
  2. What specific change do you want your donation to promote?
  3. Whom do you want to target with your donation?

It’s best to sit down and explore these three ideas so you can decide which non-profit is right for you. This is your hard-earned money, and there are many causes available to you today. Let’s make sure you give it away to a cause that’s near and dear to your heart!