Four ways to donate to charity effectively

Monday 21 November 2016

Can only the rich donate to charity? Far from it - you can quickly donate the amount you'd put aside for a cup of coffee or the latest tech accessory. With instant online payments, donating is easy, but you must ensure that every rupee of your hard-earned money is beneficial to the real recipient - India's downtrodden. For those looking to achieve a bit of tax rebate along with performing charity, you also need to ensure that your donation reaps dividend in income tax season.
 
Here's you can donate effectively to a cause you support.
 
1. Look for credibility
Good NGOs are transparent about their management, and also have regular audits for government compliance. Additionally, their track record of achievements is the biggest sign that your rupee is generating value. Be cautious of NGOs whose political affiliations or legislation positions are more outspoken than their commitment to helping the needy. Check for scams via the NGO's website, social media presence, ongoing campaigns, contact information, financial details and tax status. Their social media presence also gives you instant access to word of mouth buzz. Large non-profits openly show off their list of larger donors — individuals, foundations and corporations on websites and annual reports.
 
2. Donate online
The safest and fastest method of donating is via online payment. It is not only transparent but also gives you access to instant online records via your debit/credit card receipts, as well as email receipts to confirm the transaction. Online payments give you a legitimate instant 'paper trail' that can be used as proof when dealing with tax officials, or in the case of an audit, along with your formal receipts and 80 G certificate.
 
3. Claiming donation tax rebate
You will receive a receipt upon making a donation. This is part of the documentation you will need when filing income tax returns (ITR) to claim tax rebate:
i. A stamped receipt: Along with your name and the amount donated, the receipt must mention the name, address and PAN of the trust/organisation
ii.Form 58: Applicable for donations to organisations/initiatives which provides 100% deduction. It can be attached along with your ITR
iii. The organisation's Registration number with validity dates
iv. An 80-G Certificate
 
4. Donating resources and time
Along with donating money, you can donate time and skills as a volunteer. All skills are relevant when it comes to helping in times of adversity. You will meet several sincere, like-minded individuals driven to work in difficult environments. Even if you can't donate regularly, you can do fundraising for NGO campaigns. This includes door-to-door donation drives, or public venue activities, and pitching grant proposals to philanthropists, corporate entities, Institutions, funding agencies, and government bodies.
As your interest and knowledge in civil society activism grow, you can sign up as a freelancer, or a full-time employee at an NGO. You can also use your social media presence to reach out to millions about an NGO's work, causes, fundraising targets and more.
 
Conclusion
It is not compulsory to donate money in large quantities -you can take part in smaller crowdfunding campaigns where small amounts add up to a large sum committed to a cause. Child rights leader Save The Children is known for transparency in donation spending and spends extensively on programmes to fight child exploitation across India. The NGO is supported by 43000+ donors, who are proud to defend child rights with their contributions. Your small donation today can give happiness, safety and purpose to today's children, who will become tomorrow's productive adults. Every rupee counts.