Experience with Main-street Philanthropy

I have learned about analyzing a form 990 which is a helpful method for showing where the funds end up, such as management costs and fundraising. Another method that was used is by calling the charity. This allows for one on one conversation with a person of that charity to ask questions regarding items on their tax form or find out how the person feels about working at the charity. I have found that looking at the form 990 is much more beneficial as it shows facts about the charity based on financial situation.

It is important to look at the numbers before making an investment because it shows how a charity is spending their funds to either help the cause or keep them sustainable. For example, a charity that contributes a lot to the cause but cannot sustain themselves if they lost funding would not be a good choice. From the charities that I analyzed I realized that some charities can be very effective and have strong financial situations while others do not. Part of that is how much they receive in donations but also the investments they make as well as how effective they are at fundraising.

Main-street Philanthropy has really changed my perspective on donating to charities. I have assisted with volunteering as well as donating money to smaller organizations. However I never realized how effective a larger charity might be in not only distribution for helping the cause but having the resources to sustain it. I have strengthened the idea of the need for donations to those less fortunate than I am by this project which I will continue to hold onto as I progress into the future.

One of the organizations I researched was UNHCR which is an international charity which helps deal with the displacement of refugees. Part of this organization’s goal is to distribute the necessary supplies to the refugees including food. Another organization I researched was Overseas development institutes which helps with developing nations who lack certain services such as a steady food supply and clean water. Part of the organization’s goal is to supply food or techniques to help fight a secondary battle against hunger.

The decision my group chose to donate our funds to was Feeding San Diego. This was because they are a branch of a larger organization called feeding America which is very good in terms of financials as well as supporting the cause. The most important factor for our group was the financials and the opportunities for volunteering by ordinary people. I have personally helped out with this organization and I know that many other organizations such as churches help volunteer.

I hope the funds we give will be able to feed many people for the amount we gave. If not that I hope that the funds help influence other people to come and join the cause. In the future to help with charities I plan on not only donating but volunteering as well to assist a charity in completing their mission for the cause.