We chatted for 15 minutes. For $22 a month, he told me, I could change a child’s life if I would just jot down my bank account information right there on the street. (He even had a clipboard—how convenient!). I respectfully declined, promising him that I would check out the website. If I liked what I saw, I’d make a donation.
That night, as I donated a dollar a drink to several bartenders over many hours, I thought about what makes one charity better than another, and whether I should fork over a small percentage of my hard-earned salary to a “good cause,” never really knowing if that money reaches the people who need it, or if it would even be enough to make a dent.
After a lot of thought and a little research, I identified four factors to consider before making a charitable donation: