How to Choose?

I have, by necessity, had to focus on self care for a long time now. Now while I am still on the edge I more and more feel that it is time to look beyond myself again, to offer my help where it is needed. A first step is to once again support an organization with steady monthly donations. But which one? There are so many worthy organizations that I would want to support.

 

Some that immediately pop to my mind are…

Save the Children

UNICEF

Doctors without borders

The Red Cross and Red Crescent

WWF

 

If you are the least bit curious, click on the links above and have a look!

But there are so many out there, so many organizations that do good, so how do I pick one?There are advantages in picking a large and well known organization like those above. Bigger organizations get more money, which means they can manage bigger projects. Bigger organizations are less likely to be downright fraudulent, while there is an element of insecurity if picking a completely unknown one. Bigger organizations are able to spread out and help wherever it is needed at the moment, it’s more flexible as opposed to only helping one specific little area.

And the downsides? Bigger organizations also mean just that – bigger organizations. There might be an added risk of money getting lost in a maze of bureaucracy. Smaller organizations might be able to do more on a local level. Supporting a single initiative somewhere, be it a hospital, an orphanage, an animal shelter or a school, might mean that you can be more certain of the money going where it should. It might be easier to connect to as well, it becomes more tangible in a way.

Should one go local or international, is the next question. I live in a safe part of the world. We have democracy. We have a good health care system. People don’t starve. We are not at war. We aren’t plagued by natural disasters. Why go local, when the situation is so much worse in other parts of the world?

We may be better off, but this is no Utopia. Many suffer here as well and there is plenty that needs doing even here even if the scale is not as grand. With the amount of refugees Sweden has taken in especially we have lots, lots to do here on the home front as well. Not to even mention the fact that some of the most important projects might lay in science and research, in developing new medicins and technology that in the long run can do far more.

And that is the next question. Emergency aid, or long term development? Help is needed now in so many places around the world, locally and internationally. People, animals, the natural world, are suffering now and donating to long term research projects don’t help them. But in the long run, what’s worth more? Save ten today or thousands tomorrow? How can you ever make that choice?

“You think you much!” you are probably thinking. “Just do something!”

Yes, I think too much. And I will, I am picking an organization today. But this is important, if one really wants to help then it’s important to reflect on why we do things and how. It’s important to understand that sometimes there are conflicting interests and what seems like a good idea from one side might be far less so from another. And it’s important to not be naive.

So what do I do?

I will start with picking one of the big ones, I think. One that is both out there and has a local presence as well. And then we will see. In the long run I would like to get involved in more than just giving money, but that will need to wait until my own well being has stabilized more.

So, to be continued?

 

 

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “How to Choose?

  1. It is a hard decision, though a worthy one. I tend to avoid ones that advertise very much, not wanting my money to be spent on that, although they do reckon that donations drop when they reduce advertising, so that is another dilemma. As is whether to help humans or animals. I try to spread my donations, but if you spread too thin it feels like a tiny droplet. My issue with children’s charities is that they stop support when the kids are old and no longer cute. I figure enough people support those.

    I do like something where you can see a tangible result. We sponsored a house in Honduras for a single mother, because they are often deserted by the father of the children and become homeless if the man owns the house. Also we know the people who run that charity, so we know there is no fraud or waste. I also like ones where by helping one person or family, it has a knock on effect for their community. And medical research. And MacMillan Cancer Care because they were very helpful when my Mum had cancer… so many good causes! And so easy to get bogged down in it, so sometimes it is better to just pick one at random (from your shortlist) than not to pick one because the choice becomes overwhelming…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I ended up picking Save the Children! I could ponder forever otherwise and as you say, it’s better just to pick one than to get overwhelmed by the choices and do nothing. All of these organizations do a whole lot of good after all so it’s not -wrong- after all!

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    2. Oh and the advertising thing… I get the same feel. I also get all cringy when they make flashy charity tv-shows, making entertainment out it. But in the end it DOES raise a lot of money and awareness so one shouldn’t be too critical I suppose. I just get a bit… meeeeeh… are people interested in helping or in feeling good about themselves? I suppose the right answer is that it doesn’t matter as long as the end result still helps those in need. But still… Yeah.

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