How many phone calls, mailings, and emails have you received this holiday season that attempted to solicit your donation for a worthwhile cause? If you are like me, you have received A LOT. So many of them sound worthwhile and effective, but there are several resources out there that can help you navigate the endless list of charities.
When giving to charities (separate from and above your church tithe/offering), there are some things to consider:
- Is it legit and approved by the Better Business Bureau?
- How much money goes towards the actual end-goal and purpose of the charity?
- How much money goes towards administration?
- How much money goes towards fundraising? (you'd be surprised the number of charities that sink 15% or more into fundraising...i.e. your donations are paying the wages of the fundraisers)
- What is its evaluation by others? (some evaluations have extensive standards for giving 'ratings' of charities)
- If it is a "Christian" charity, is there a direct connection to the Gospel in the ministries they perform?
- Is there a more effective and efficient charity in the area in which I am choosing to give?
Some resources to use:
As you give it is important to consider:
- Your resources are ultimately God's and not your own. You are but a steward called to be a wise caretaker of what God has entrusted you with.
- The most important treasure you have been given to share is the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ...are you sharing and giving Him to others?
Proverbs 11:24-25 "One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. 25 A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed."
Matthew 10:7-8 "7As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' 8Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give."
Ephesians 3:8 "8Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ"
1 Timothy 6:17-19 "17As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life."