5 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Charity for Your Service Project

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There are tons of charities that work hard to make an impact. However, it is critical that you do your research and ask the right questions before choosing a charity for your service project. Here are 5 questions that will help you determine if a charity is the right fit.

  1. Do you have a strategic plan? What are your short and long-term goals as an organization?
    You want to ensure that you are working with an organization that has put some thought into their future. It will be difficult to see the quantifiable impact of a charity if they do not have these goals in place. Any reputable organization will be ready, willing, and able to articulate these goals effectively.
  2. Can I trust your organization?
    This may seem like a simple question, but it is a critical one. Trustworthy charities will make every effort to be transparent. Ask to hear about the history of the organization. How long have they been operating? What has their total impact been to date? You want to be sure you work with a charity that wants to be forthcoming with this information. Any charity that appears to be untrustworthy probably is and you will know to move on in your search.
  3. How is your communication with supporters?
    Find out how the charity keeps in contact with its supporters. Do they send out a monthly newsletter or post frequently on social media? Further, do they respond to inquiries in a timely manner? You want to work with an organization that has the infrastructure to be responsive in all aspects of what they do. You may ask for a few references to speak with people who have supported the charity for a broader perspective.
  4. How large is your staff? What are their strengths/weaknesses?
    An organization is only as strong as its employees. Knowing how many people will be available to you is crucial. Is the staff overwhelmingly busy, or are they able to support new partners?
  5. What resources do you offer supporters?
    When conducting your service project it is important to know if your charity has resources or connections in the community that could be beneficial. Great charities will want to support you in supporting them and will make an effort to offer you everything they can to ensure your service project goes smoothly.

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