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Give a little Tuesday

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 by Marianne Elliott

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Today is ‘Giving Tuesday’.

It seems only fair that organisations working to redress the economic, environmental, social and spiritual impacts of rampant consumerism would get their turn in the spotlight, right?

The first thing I want to say is that more often than not, the most efficient and effective way to take action on issues we feel passionately about or to help people who are in need is to donate money to organisations already doing good work in that area.

That’s not to say that there is no place for volunteer work, obviously many local community service organisations and most social change movements rely heavily on volunteers. But giving a little bit of money is often the fastest way to help make a difference.

The second thing I want to say is that in my experience most people are more than happy to give a little, within their means. But what often gets in the way is not knowing who to give to. Who is doing good work? Who uses the money well? If you only have a little to give, you want to be sure that it’ll be used well.

There are tools that attempt to evaluate and rate various charities and aid organisations. These rating systems are useful, but they have limitations, which were highlighted by discrepancies in rating the Central Asia Institute.

A better option, The Charity Rater helps you rate charities yourself – helping you better inform yourself on what makes an effective charity in the process.

The rating system’s format is similar to a survey with 10 multiple choice questions. Use information from the charity’s website to answer each question. The process takes approximately 5 – 10 minutes to complete. Your investment of time will help you become a better, more empowered donor.” ~ The Charity Rater

If you want to give a little today and don’t have time to run your own tests using The Charity Rater, here are some ideas about where you might like to give a little today.

If you are a yogi, or yogini and want to see the yoga community step more fully into our role as conscious servants of social good: Off the Mat, Into the World

If you are interested in supporting a well-established, experienced international aid organisation dedicated to reducing global poverty: Oxfam (UK, US, NZ), Mercy Corps or CARE International

If your main interest is in supporting organistations that work with women: Women for Women International, Voice of Women and Women for Afghan Women (both Afghanistan), Our Strength (Cambodia)

If you mostly want to help people after major disasters: Red Cross (NZ, US, UK – the latter have special funds for Hurricane Sandy relief)

There are so many more. I could go on all day with ideas for organisations you might like to give a little bit to this Giving Tuesday. But hopefully that’s enough to either get you inspired to give, or get you inspired to find out more about who you might want to give to.

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2 Responses to "Give a little Tuesday"

  1. Meg says:

    Thanks so much for the mention Marianne. All of us in Cambodia at Our Strength are really thankful for advocates and supporters like you around the world who are helping us work towards our fundraising goal this month!

  2. Wonderful post Marianne, thank you especially for the link to charity rater I had not seen this before. Thanks for your great work.

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