“Why should I give my money to a third party to help someone?”
“Why can’t I help someone on my own?”
“What if they are unaccountable?”
“It’s just a fancy way of begging…”
These are some variants of questions and opinions of people when it comes to giving to nonprofits.
What is giving?
The Bible defines giving as a heartfelt and selfless gesture that benefits the receiver and the giver. It also states that any giving should be in secret.
Anne Frank says, “No one has ever become poor by giving.” We could tap and tune your philanthropic side with a million more quotes and examples, but the statistics say that more and more people turn towards altruism daily. Psychology assures that helping is a basic human instinct like fear or loyalty. Consequently, there are several types of giving, and offering through an approved charity is one of them.
Who is worthy of receiving?
There is an old saying in the Tamil language that goes, “Aatril pottalum alandhu podu.” It means “even if you dispose of something, be sensible.” Knowing who you give to or attempting to find out more about them is perfectly natural. After all, you are giving away your hard-earned supplies. Many situations of failed altruistic attempts may have affected your giving tendencies or stopped you from giving altogether.
NGOs, unfortunately, account for such disturbing situations as well. Unaccountability, non-transparent expenses, and lack of communication are traits earning bad rapport. The latter happens for even nation-wide NGOs. Institutional NGOs running schools, orphanages, hospitals, and care centers tend to hide corruption behind their walls. Like any constitution, such agencies are prone to offer false financial returns and hide the surplus. Like every coin, the charity business has two sides. While some organizations may take away your money and return your favor with a one-time thank-you note and radio silence, others develop clever and elaborate systems to deliver what is needed. While an individual cannot solve the poverty of a country or a district or even an individual, dedicated agencies have well-formed systems to solve such injustices methodically.
How to give?
Think back to moment in your life where you gave something to someone or for a certain cause (or both). Did it feel good to offer that homeless person a sandwich? Did that child at the signal smile when you bought a worthless item from him/her? Were those children in the orphanage so happy when you offered them your toys?
Now distinctly analyze those instances – did that sandwich solve his/her homelessness? Did that child genuinely smile, or was that a cry for help? Were those orphans allowed to interact with you freely, or was there someone monitoring you? Did your individual giving offer a durable solution for them?
This is where agencies like ours step in. We offer a way for that homeless person to make money. We offer a chance for that child to chase his/her dreams. Instead of detaining them, we offer those orphans a family and a home. This is how your support, regardless of its triviality, is put to good use. While we do not disregard individual giving, we recommend sensible giving.
If you could take some time to research about that shoe before you buy it, you certainly can weed out the corrupt agencies and find a good one to offer your support.