MSP Blog Post

  1. At the very beginning, since choosing education as my focus when choosing a charity, I sought to choose a charity that was honest, upfront, and doing things that full-filled their mission. Although every charity claims they do good things in the areas in which they focus on, as donors, we cannot just take their words and we must do the work ourselves to analyze the charity to determine whether or not they live up to the standards they set for themselves. With the Main Street¬†Philanthropy project, I have learned various new ways to take a look at an organization’s tax returns and determine whether or not they are a reliable organization. Some new things I have learned includes: being able to read and analyze tax returns, determining the categories in which charities spend their money on (management fees, fundraising fees, etc). I believe that looking at the financial disclosures and taking a look at the tax returns of a charity organization says the most about the charities’ trustworthiness and efficiency. As someone who holds a certain issue near and dear to my heart, I would like to know that the organization I am donating my hard earned money to takes what I believe in seriously. After you determine the financial worthiness of an organization, then you can take a look at the specific programs the organization offers and determine whether or not you agree or disagree with them.

  2. Looking at the numbers is one of the most important things to do before making an investment because it tells you everything you need know, in terms of the economic worthiness of your decision. Although the numbers may not tell you what exactly is going on and the purpose, it lets you know whether or not your investment will make economic sense for yourself. When I looked at the tax returns of the charities I was analyzing, I was surprised of how such big charity organizations can use their resources so wisely and actually use the majority of their funds and resources to the causes they support. Looking at the tax returns confirmed my belief that the charity I chose to research and support used their resources wisely, and did not waste their money purely on administrative and management costs. Regardless if you’re looking to invest in a company or whether you are looking to donate a large chunk of money to a charity, it is always a smart idea to look into the financial disclosures that the organization is bond to release to the public.

  3. I learned that giving away money shouldn’t be just a simple process and that you should take some time and consider who you are giving your hard earned money to. Don’t just judge a charity by its outside, judge it by its inside (the information that usually donors don’t even bother to take a look at!) If you are planning to give away some of your hard earned money, then give the money to an organization that supports something that you support, and most importantly – make sure they are responsible in using your money. MSP impacted my perspective on the world and philanthropy/charity by instilling in me the importance of analyzing the charity in depth before making any decision to donate money to the organization. The program has taught me the importance of financial disclosures and tax returns and how it can give us so much information about an individual organization. Through my research of individual charities, I am learning more about the world and how so many organizations and generous people are coming together to make a positive difference in the world.

  1. Two organizations I chose to research: The Ronald McDonald House and Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. The mission of Ronald McDonald House is to¬†is to create, find, and support programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children and their families. A world where all children have access to medical care, and their families are supported and actively involved in their children’s care. This mission aligns with our group’s mission of providing education to as many children as possible. Generally, when a child in one’s family is going through treatment and intense medical care, the family is focused on that one individual child and not the siblings. Ronald McDonald House has a classroom onsite where the families stay to provide education for the sibling of the child who is being cared for at a local hospital. The organization, Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy has a goal of ensuring everyone in the United States is literate and has the means of living in the 21st century. This aligns with our group’s mission statement of ensuring everyone in the United States of America is well prepared for a good job. The number one key to a good job is being literate and being able to speak, read, and write in English. Both organizations have education in their focus and that is why I chose to research their organization.

  2. The final charity we selected to donate our money to was the Ronald McDonald House. The most important factors in our determination of the charity group to donate to was their mission and purpose. In addition, the financial disclosures and tax returns showed that the organization used their money and resources very wisely and responsibly. We know that the money we will be donating, even if it is a little, will go to a great cause. My group members and I have personally visited one of the facilities of the Ronald McDonald House and saw the services they provided. We were touched by the work that the staff and volunteers do at the house, and decided to donate our money to them. We know the money we donated will be spent wisely, as we deeply analyzed the organization’s tax returns, which confirmed to us that they are a responsible and honest organization.

  3. I am hoping that my group’s donation will go towards improving the access of education to those who may otherwise be left our during the medical treatment of their siblings. Parents have lots to worry about when one of their kids are critically ill, and to also have to worry about the education of their other child is too much stress. The Ronald McDonald house takes away that extra stress by ensuring that kids living with their parents at the Ronald McDonald House have the quality education they would receive at their regular school. The teachers at Ronald McDonald work directly with the teacher at the student’s school to ensure the curriculum is being taught to the student. This ensures that when the child returns back to their regular school, they will not be as behind as they otherwise would. In the future, I may consider volunteering my time to the organization in order to make a difference. This organization relies heavily on its volunteers and I feel that I can make a positive difference. I am hoping to find some time to donate to the Ronald McDonald House and make a difference in someone’s life.