5 Things to Look for Before Donating to a Non-Profit
As a fundraising professional, I am often asked by my philanthropic-minded friends what they should consider when deciding to donate to an organization. Below are 5 things I look for when donating to a non-profit:
1. What is the organization’s mission statement, and does it align with my values?
Does the non-profit you want to support have a clear mission that you feel is in line with how you want to impact the world around you? Think of the transformational change you want to make and whether that work is already being done by an NGO. Often, it’s easier to collaborate with an organization that has the tools and resources to activate the change we envision than to try to make this change ourselves.
At World Animal Protection, our simple mission statement encompasses the complexities of all we do worldwide to eliminate animal suffering. If you share our passion for animals and want to move the world to protect and rescue our furry and feathered friends from suffering, then you’re in the right place!
2. Before you donate to a nonprofit, it’s important to understand the goals of the organization.
You want the organization you’re considering to have goals they publish so you can measure their success. This way, you are afforded the opportunity to see the impact of your donations with the accomplishments they share.
At World Animal Protection, our favorite way to share our success stories with you is through our blogs and our YouTube channel. These allow us to communicate our history, the goals we are working towards today and the wins we are achieving, and what we will accomplish, with your support, tomorrow!
You can follow us here:
3. Equally as important as knowing the mission statement and goals of an organization is the ability to see the organization’s financial health. What is their commitment to transparency and accountability?
Thankfully, for the individual who isn’t keen on combing through a charities’ tax filings and governance documents, there are websites that pull this information together. These websites research charitable organizations and quantify their findings in a straightforward, unbiased manner. Some of these websites include guidestar.org, charitynavigator.org, and charitywatch.org. When you have the financial information of an organization, you’ll be able to offer your financial support with confidence.
You can find copies of our 990s and financials here.
4. How does the organization prioritize its actions and measure success?
This question helps us to go beyond the mission statement of an organization and have a more in-depth understanding of what steps are being taken to move forward and execute the vision. When an organization clearly shares the goals for a campaign, the steps it will take to get there, and how it will communicate results, you can be confident your financial support will make a difference.
World Animal Protection categorizes campaigns between the two pillars of Wildlife or Food Systems.
Each of these categories has an area that explains the problem at hand, the solution we will provide, reports, and resources to allow you to investigate further, along with how you can stay up-to-date on the issue. To know more about our work, please visit “Our Work.”
5. Does the organization embrace coalition-building?
Lastly, it’s important to know if the organization you are supporting coordinates their actions with other NGOs. There is often so much work to be done and combining efforts with other non-profits in the same space is an efficient way to truly make change. In some cases, coalition work with other organizations with overlapping priorities just makes sense. For example, World Animal Protection often supports and amplifies other animal welfare organizations’ efforts and they do the same for us. If one organization is strong in legislative activism and another has a deep history in volunteering and grassroots actions, sharing resources towards a common goal can maximize results.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of things to think about before donating, however, I believe it will get you on the right track. If you have any questions regarding our organization, our mission statement, or how funds received are used to end animal suffering, you can contact us at email@example.com.
If you believe our mission aligns with the values you hold dear, the goals you’d like to accomplish, and see that we are a well-vetted organization, please support us by donating today!