During the holiday season, it is really easy to give your spare change to whatever charity representative may be sitting outside of your local grocery or department store.
Charitable giving is something I promote for everyone, especially during the holidays. It is important that we help out those in need when they are unable to help themselves.
However, blindly donating to a charity just because they ask you for money and you want to make yourself feel better is not benefiting anyone. In our Internet-centric time, giving money to a charity that you know nothing about is inexcusable.
There are several websites that allow for investigation into charities, my personal favorite being CharityNavigator.org.
These websites give you charities’ annual income, how the money is spent and ranks them based on several factors. Also, simply using a search engine to find out more information about your favorite charities would suffice.
There are multiple factors to look at when investigating these organizations.
For example, the Salvation Army has fallen under scrutiny for allegedly saying members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community should be put to death, according to a NBC News story; and the New York Times reported that the Salvation Army has a history of refusing to use their resources to help out LGBT people.
Tampa Bay Times reports that over the last 10 years, Kids Wish Network, a “grant a child a wish” organization, raised over $18 million. However, they only spent an average of 2.5 percent of that on direct aid per year.
An alternative would be to find a local charity that you know does good work. However, do not use that as an excuse to not give to a charity such as Make-a-Wish Foundation or Habitat for Humanity.
The moral of the story is to investigate where you donate your money. I do not want my money going to an organization that spends their money on salaries and excessive overhead fees or who decides who they should give aid to based on their own personal prejudices.
I want my money to make a difference, just as you should.
Kaleb Causey is a senior political science and journalism major from Jonesboro who serves as editor-in-chief for The Tech Talk. Email comments to ktc...@latech.edu.