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?