When it comes to looking for a charity to support, there are a number of steps you should take.
1. What cause do you want to support?
There is a very wide range of sectors that charities work to resolve - homelessness, poverty, children’s charities, hospital and disease specific charities, animal, environment, conflict or global response causes.
Choose which of these areas is most in line with the cause you would like to support.
2. Which charity to choose?
Start a broad search and research the various charities that work for the cause that you want to support.
The first thing to do then is to check that your chosen charity is registered with the Charities Regulator.
Then you need to find out if it's accountable and transparent. Are the charity's financial statements on their website? Is the charity's board of trustees signed up to a governance code? Does this charity follow best practice fundraising? These three checks are what Charities Institute Ireland has identified as the ‘Triple Lock Standard'. This Triple Lock identifies that the charity adheres to best practice in all aspects of good governance, transparency and accountability.
Finally take a look at the charity's mission and vision, ask what progress is the charity making towards achieving their goals for their beneficiaries and how do they measure and report this social impact.
3. How CAN YOU help the charity you’ve chosen?
Do you want to contribute financially on a regular basis, on a one-off basis? Or do you want to volunteer or become involved in the running of the charity? How could you help your charity to best make a positive social impact?
Talk to the charity to establish how you could help in terms of volunteering or perhaps you have the skills to assist with governance issues e.g. by becoming a trustee.