Photo: M.Moira/Shutterstock

9 Global Charities That Probably Won't Waste Your Money

by Timothy McGrath Dec 9, 2014

IT’S BEEN A LONG YEAR for humanity. There’s been Ebola, the ongoing Syrian civil war, the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the Gaza war, Boko Haram, the disappearance and probable murder of 43 students in Mexico, and more.

We hear that 3 million Syrians have fled their country’s civil war and another 6.5 million are internally displaced, but what can we do? We know that Ebola has killed 6,000 people, almost all of them in West Africa, but if we’re not one of the very few people in the world who have the medical training and bravery needed to travel to the heart of the outbreak, what is our role in the picture?

Well, a star-studded, stereotype-laden charity song probably isn’t the place to start.

Making a cash donation is the easiest thing you can do and it’s also the most effective, according to USAID’s Center for International Disaster Information. And there’s no better time than right now.

If you decide to support a charity, it’s hard to figure out which places are reliable. Luckily, there are online resources like Charity Navigator, which rates charities based on their effective use of donations, accountability and transparency, and sustained commitment to their campaigns. The ratings don’t factor in things like religious affiliation — some of the most highly rated charities have stated religious missions — so you should check whether a particular charity conflicts with your beliefs or values.

With so many crises — both acute and simmering — around the world, one easy charitable approach is to donate to large, highly rated charities with major global reach. So if you give $10 is might help fight Ebola in Liberia, or feed Syrian refugees in Turkey, or support maternal health in Afghanistan.

Here are charities that do some of the best work battling world’s biggest problems, according to two major monitoring groups:

1) Save the Children

Charity Watch Rating: A+

Charity Navigator Rating: 4/4 stars

Mission: “Save the Children invests in childhood — every day, in times of crisis and for our future. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. By transforming children’s lives now, we change the course of their future and ours.”

2) International Rescue Committee

Charity Watch: A+

Charity Navigator: 4 stars

“The International Rescue Committee helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. IRC teams provide health care, infrastructure, learning and economic support to people in 40 countries, with special programs designed for women and children. Every year, the IRC resettles thousands of refugees in 22 US cities.

The IRC was founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein.”

3) Partners in Health

Charity Watch: A+

Charity Navigator: 4 stars

“Our mission is to provide a preferential option for the poor in health care. By establishing long-term relationships with sister organizations based in settings of poverty, Partners In Health strives to achieve two overarching goals: to bring the benefits of modern medical science to those most in need of them and to serve as an antidote to despair.”

4) Catholic Relief Services

Charity Watch: A

Charity Navigator: 4 stars

“Catholic Relief Services carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. We are motivated by the Gospel of Jesus Christ to cherish, preserve and uphold the sacredness and dignity of all human life, foster charity and justice, and embody Catholic social and moral teaching.”

5) Direct Relief

Charity Watch: A-

Charity Navigator: 4 stars

“Direct Relief is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that provides medical assistance to people around the world who have been affected by poverty, natural disasters, and civil unrest. Thanks to generous material and financial contributions from individuals, pharmaceutical companies, and medical equipment manufacturers, Direct Relief can work with healthcare professionals and organizations on the ground and equip them with the essential medical supplies and equipment that they need to help people recover from a disaster”

6) Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières

Charity Watch: Not Rated

Charity Navigator: 4 stars

“We are Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). We help people worldwide where the need is greatest, delivering emergency medical aid to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters or exclusion from health care.”

7) Oxfam America

Charity Watch: A-

Charity Navigator: 4 stars

“Oxfam America is a global organization working to right the wrongs of poverty, hunger, and injustice. As one of 17 members of the international Oxfam confederation, we work with people in more than 90 countries to create lasting solutions. Oxfam saves lives, develops long-term solutions to poverty, and campaigns for social change.”

8) United States Fund for UNICEF

Charity Watch: A-

Charity Navigator: 4 stars

“The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF’s work, and other efforts in support of the world’s children, through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States.”

9) Compassion International

Charity Watch: A

Charity Navigator: 4 stars

“Compassion International exists as a Christian child advocacy ministry that releases children from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enables them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults.
Founded by the Rev. Everett Swanson in 1952, Compassion began providing Korean War orphans with food, shelter, education and health care, as well as Christian training.

Today, Compassion helps more than 1.5 million children in 26 countries.

By: Timothy McGrath, GlobalPost

This article is syndicated from GlobalPost.

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