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So many good causes, how do I choose?

(59 Posts)
phoenix Sat 08-Aug-20 20:21:35

Hello all, hope you are well.

A few years ago I was so very fortunate to have some help from some lovely GN members when I was looking at a very bleak Christmas, they know who they are, wink and I will be forever thankful.

Now, although not overflowing with funds, I would like to pay something back in some way.

There are advertisements on tv showing starving children in certain countries, although one can never be sure if monies sent actually reach those in need, or I could donate to local food banks etc.

So, pay back time, I think, but what would you do?

Thank you.

Jane10 Sat 08-Aug-20 20:33:48

I support some small local charities. Not necessarily big or cool but run by dedicated people for the benefit of people not generally thought of. I try to help individuals in need if I notice something that might be helpful or supportive to them.
The only large charity I donate to is Age UK - selfishly- because I might need them sometime but also I was impressed by their work over the lockdown.

silverlining48 Sat 08-Aug-20 20:46:36

I donate to charities near to my heart, and also from time to time to disaster and other foreign appeals, hoping the money raised gets to where it should go.

Liz46 Sat 08-Aug-20 20:50:12

Is there a local hospice?

I used to volunteer for our local children’s hospice.

I have been told that much of the aid that is sent to Africa doesn’t actually reach the people who need it.

tinaf1 Sat 08-Aug-20 20:54:38

I’m same as silver lining charities near to my heart, small donation every month,
But I also like to pay for a homeless person to get a hot meal at Christmas hence Crisis.
Also like to support Salvation Army
I’m not keen on donating to foreign appeals as it seems the money does not go to the people who need it. I may be wrong but that is how I feel. It seems to be a personal thing Phoenix

Granny23 Sat 08-Aug-20 20:56:12

Small and local for me too. I don't have much cash to donate but most of my HM Jam, fruit, veg and plants goes to fundraising events or direct to good causes. I am gradually disposing of unwanted gifts, ornaments, DH's collection of whiskies etc. as prizes for Raffles and Bingo Teas.

kittylester Sat 08-Aug-20 21:02:08

Alzheimer's Society do brilliant work but my choice would be the local children's hospice which has missed out on so much since the lockdown.

phoenix Sat 08-Aug-20 21:03:41

Liz46 yes, there is a local hospice, they looked after my late boss very well.

I'm rather hoping that the GN members who helped me might come into this thread and give some guidance.

geekesse Sat 08-Aug-20 21:04:08

Have a look at It’s about micro financing projects, and a great way to make a modest amount of giving go a long way. You make loans (in 25 US dollar bundles), and choose the specific person and project you want to lend to. The money is paid back in instalments, and you can re-lend it. The charity makes the loan by putting together small loans from a number of people.

They have projects all over the world, so you can choose which country, and each request for a loan includes the explanation of what the person wants a loan for. You can choose particular kinds of project - young people for example, or women.

$25 is currently less than £20. If I have a spare £20, I use it to make a loan. I think I’ve put in around £140, but I can see from my portfolio that It has been used to make over £700 worth of loans, because as it gets paid back, I re-lend it.

merlotgran Sat 08-Aug-20 21:18:24

As a family we all support our local hospice where DD was cared for at the end of her life. We owe them more than we can say.

The sight of starving children in Yemen always moves me especially as they now have coronavirus to deal with but like others I would be concerned as to whether or not the money gets to the right place. I do donate directly to a charity in Aden though which is run by a contact who goes back to my schooldays there and is a member of our now quite large facebook group. In 2015 we raised money to re-equip some schools after they were destroyed during the conflict of that year. It gave us all a buzz to actually see photos of where the money was spent and the children wearing their uniforms, sitting in newly equipped classrooms.

I also support the British Heart Foundation in a small way.

Charleygirl5 Sat 08-Aug-20 21:52:36

I give to London air ambulance- hoping I will never need them personally. Also to my local Cat Protection League- it is run by a few dedicated females and I have homed three delightful cats from there.

I may get my head bitten off when I say this but it is how I feel. I never give to African countries- I feel it is a bottomless pit and I'm contributing towards another fancy car for somebody in a high position.

I also contribute towards the local food bank and also the local RSPCA.

phoenix stay local, I personally think you may get more satisfaction out of it.

Chewbacca Sat 08-Aug-20 22:00:21

Like others it's always the local charities for me, specifically the local hospice. A monthly direct debit donation, plus donations throughout the year if they're having a specific fundraising. And in the New Year, they'll come to collect your Christmas tree for a donation so I support that too.

mumofmadboys Sun 09-Aug-20 06:26:11

UNICEF seems a good charity. We wanted to help poor families ( in India especially) during this coronavirus pandemic.

Calendargirl Sun 09-Aug-20 07:04:35

The adverts for the SMILE charity I think it’s called, to pay for children with cleft palates in Africa, always makes me think it is such a good cause. I think it featured in an episode of The Good Karma Hospital, the Smile train travels around and performs surgery.

Having said that, my own charity donations are to local ones, a horse rescue centre amongst them.

BradfordLass73 Sun 09-Aug-20 07:18:13

As most have said, the local ones who are struggling and don't have huge admin or travel budgets.
I support, when I can, a group of women who began teatching people with intellectual impaiment how to cook, to give them indepedence and confidence.
Like Topsy it just grewed and now they cook dinners for children in schools; have expanded the number of people they teach and are now growing all their own vegetables.

The other charity began with a young couple, turned their farm into a refuge for farm animals who'd been dumped and/or abused.
They rush out and rescue battery hens when ever the owner says he's had as much from them as he can squeeze.

The hens go on to lead happy, productive lives for many years.

I know every single penny of what I can spare goes into helping; not flash TV commercials and jollies for the staff.

tanith Sun 09-Aug-20 07:28:37

I keep my donations local too, the food bank and London Air Ambulance, also the Hospice whose team helped me keep DH at home in his last weeks. I feel like others that some donations abroad just feed corrupt governments.

FindingNemo15 Sun 09-Aug-20 08:29:30

I only donate money and goods to local small charities that are run by genuine, caring volunteers. My main one being a local animal rescue home or the air ambulance.

Iam64 Sun 09-Aug-20 08:32:10

We do donate to charities supporting children in war torn areas. Usually via Unicef.
At the start of lockdown, we set up a DD to our local charity which runs food banks and supports the homeless. We'd usually pop stuff into their boxes after the supermarket shop but we now have it delivered.
I take clothes, furniture etc to the Salvation Army. Our local hospice has regular fund raisers and we donate there.
I don't mean to sound like a wealthy person -not talking huge amounts.

sodapop Sun 09-Aug-20 08:39:01

I think local charities are the way to go especially if like Merlotgran you have a personal connection.
I think the Salvation Army does an excellent job in many areas and I have confidence in them.
The other charity I have actually seen providing great support is Sense for deaf blind children & adults.
Of course Dogs Trust if you are a dog lover.

Spangler Sun 09-Aug-20 08:45:54

For 30 or more years, we gave to Plan International, whereby you sponsor a child. The child's progress is sent to you with regular updates. As one child grew into an adult so another became your sponsored little one.

This is difficult to say, but be cautious with this kind of charity. We had a phone call from one of those, what the press dubbed as chuggers, charity muggers. He tried everything to shame us into increasing our donations. He failed.

Following that phone call I checked out how much of the charity money is retained for the day to day running costs.
Twenty percent is retained, and the head honcho receives in excess of £200,000 salary.

I cancelled our subscription and now give to local charities like the hospice.

gillybob Sun 09-Aug-20 08:48:06

Whether it’s a children’s charity a food bank or one of the larger charities, I think giving to charity is very personal and you should choose something that is close to your heart Phoenix . I can’t give as much as I would like to at the moment but continue to support our local food bank and make a regular donation to a larger charity in memory of my late mum . Of course I fill the various charity sacks that pop through the letter box whenever I can too.

Morrison’s supermarket have a good idea where they have paper bags pre-filled with about 4-5 small items and you just pick up a bag and pay for it with your usual shopping then you pop it into the collection trolley. I have done it since it started so don’t even notice paying for it anymore.

I suppose every little bit helps .

gillybob Sun 09-Aug-20 08:50:33

I am loathe to give to charities where the chief executives cream massive salaries off the top before the charity bit kicks in. It’s just so wrong .

Maggiemaybe Sun 09-Aug-20 09:08:49

We used to sponsor a child in India, Spangler, and support for the particular area she lived in was pulled, according to the charity, when the community became too demanding and they found local corruption affecting the scheme as well. I felt very sorry for the children, but it did put me off.

So we switched to a national homeless charity, and they nearly lost us by calling regularly to “update us” and try by any means they could to get the direct debit increased. I eventually told them that if they rang one more time we would cancel it, and fortunately they haven’t done! If we didn’t know that they do great work for the homeless, we might have gone anyway.

We all know they’re desperate for funds, but it’s worrying that vulnerable people could be pressured into agreeing to pay out more than they can afford.

Maggiemaybe Sun 09-Aug-20 09:10:01

That Morrison’s scheme sounds great, gillybob.

Whitewavemark2 Sun 09-Aug-20 09:22:52

It is difficult, and you can’t give to everything.

I decided that I would settle on a particular cause and in my case children. So I have money taken out monthly for children overseas (Save the children) and a charity in the U.K. (NSPCC) .
I am actively looking at other charities like Medecins sans Frontieres at the moment.

Any spare cash gets given to animals. This month a donation to donkeys. Last month WWF.

But I also believe strongly in Green issues.

It is all very difficult,.