Repost: How to Donate Money to Charity   Leave a comment

Here is an article that gets into a lot of the key ways to make sure that when you donate to charity your money is doing actual good. My big takeaways are:

1) Try to measure the results of the programs you donate to (even though it’s difficult).

2) Give to charities without putting strings on what your money can be used for (everyone wants to fund the flashiest parts of a charity, and that can make it difficult for charities to respond to changing needs)

3) Ignore administrative costs.

Here is the key bit for that last claim:

She uses numerous examples, both real and hypothetical, to illustrate how an organization with higher administrative expenses could be producing much better outcomes than another organization with the same total budget but lower “administrative” costs. She argues that it is, of course, the outcomes that matter.

“Effectiveness turns out to be pretty independent of efficiency,” she argues.

If only this argument could carry the day in the face of the charity rating organizations and media who continue to act as if nonprofits should be run only by volunteers with no training, no equipment, and no spending on assessment to know if their work is making a difference – not to mention any spending (gasp) on fundraising. I applaud Fiennes for taking this on so forcefully, and for not mincing words.


Posted 08/22/2012 by reluctantliberal in Repost

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