How to find a charity: Characteristics of a charity that you must look for

If you always wanted to donate to charities but were not sure which one to select, this list will help you decide.

What to look for when choosing a charity to donate to?

“Charity is to will and do what is just and right in every transaction.” –Emanuel Swedenborg.

This quote encapsulates the whole idea of charity - a selfless step taken towards the betterment of our society. Charity is our attempt and opportunity to stay humane. By doing charity, you spend money to bring a ray of hope to someone's life. 

But at times, your donation money may not find the right cause. While you are supporting a charity with clear intentions, the use of funds that you or your charity organisation have arranged must not go waste. Many organisations take an unethical approach towards utilising charity donations. So, you must be aware and not fall into the trap of misleading charity events and organisations.

Before you can donate your hard-earned money, you will need to find the best charities. And, of course, the receiver must be efficient and willing to use it wisely. Now the question is: how to find a good charity? Here are a few characteristics of a charity that you must look for:

1. The plan must be similar to its purpose

Charity organisations collect a lot of money. The result of it is its use for an unknown receiver or a good cause. You must be well aware of the charity’s purpose and if they have predefined plans to work on it. There have been reports of many charities that raise funds for a particular mission but do not work towards realising it. Government portals can be used to check if these NGOs are registered and are reliable. Websites like or are such examples. 

Related: Did You Know Being Charitable Can Help Save Taxes?

2. Convincing use of funds 

Do not blindly believe what a charity says about its plan of action. Ask the organisers to show how the money is being used. In many cases, it is reported that these charity organisations use the maximum share of the donation money for their internal costs such as paying salary to staff, office rent etc., and utilise just a petty share of it for the said purpose. Ethical charities would agree to share their records to validate the authenticity of their "use of funds".

3. Well-planned fundraising

A percentage of the income is spent on fundraising. So, the system of fundraising must be very effective, with minimum spending on the process. Otherwise, a bulk of the amount collected as funds will be used on fundraising, leaving precious little for the actual purpose.

Related: 6 Ways To Make Room For Charity During The Pandemic

4. Close monitoring  of activities

Charities can always claim that they are using the funds efficiently. But a good charity will set a board of directors who can oversee the activities carried out and give assurance of proper use of funds. The board or trust should comprise credible members of the society.

5. Clarity in the use of money

A trustworthy charity is generally transparent. It is clear about the use of money not only to the management but also the general public. A proper report of the income and expenses are made, and regular audits are conducted. There are dedicated websites that can help you to check the balance sheet and audit reports of these charitable organisations prepared under section 12A (b) of Income Tax Act.

Apart from looking for a good charity, you can also donate to government recognised charitable causes. Charitable deeds done for these government-approved causes can earn you 50 to 100% tax benefit under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act. 

The pointers listed above should help you when you think of how to find a charity. We hope this article will help you to come forward and do selfless acts to better the lives of others.


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