In the weeks after the 9.0 earthquake hit northern Japan, people around the world opened their checkbooks in an effort to help. In one weekend, the American Red Cross, alone, raised 34 million in aid for the Japanese tsunami effort, even before Japan asked for any outside assistance! But where does all the money go, and how helpful is it to the victims of the disasters?
Sometimes a charitable donation is the best thing we can do from where we are, but if we don’t make smart funding decisions, it might actually hinder recovery efforts. If too much money is earmarked for one specific cause, for instance, poorly conceived projects can get funded and money is wasted. A recent article from the New York Times “A Charitable Rush, With Little Direction” discussed some of the issues with charities and how to improve the bang of your donated buck.
Good Intentions, one of the websites mentioned in the article, has set up a site to “provide readers with the knowledge, tools, and resources they need to ensure their donations match their good intentions.” After perusing their site and learning quite a bit, I asked if I could share some of the content with viewers on Care2. Take their “True or False” quiz over the next couple pages to determine your charity-giving IQ.
T or F?: The best aid organizations have low administration costs.