Five tips for donors: How do I donate wisely?
1. Less is more:
Focus your support. In this way, you reduce your workload for checking the organizations’ reputation in advance, and at the same time minimize the administrative workload for the organizations to process the donations. As soon as you are listed as an active donor with an organization, you are in the mailing list. The best way to reduce the number of donation letters is to choose one or a few organizations.
2. Freely and from the heart:
Donating is an affair of the heart. You decide which topics are important to you. And don’t let yourself be put under pressure. The DZI classifies aggressive telephone calls, surprise visits at the front door and use of images meant to arouse pity as improper practices. The same applies to the mailing of trinkets and “gifts” in donation letters that are meant to pressure the recipient to give a donation in return and produce unnecessary expenses.
3. Transparency creates trust:
You don’t always know the people behind an organization personally. Therefore, check carefully who you place your trust in. Visit the organization’s website, read the annual reports. The more transparent an organization is, the more trustworthy it is.
4. Free instead of earmarked:
Donations earmarked to a specific cause – relief for a specific desaster etc. – limit the freedom of action of the aid organizations and cause considerable additional administrative effort. To let the receiving organization use a donation as efficiently as possible, where it is needed the most, they should therefore be the exception.
5. DZI donation seal:
The DZI donation seal is a widely recognized, neutral seal of approval. A list of all organizations certified with the seal can be found on the DZI website. In addition, some 1,000 charities are listed in the DZI database with their work and country focuses, fields of activity and financial data. Charities that in the DZI’s assessment do not work responsibly are summarized in the category “not worthy of support”. The DZI expressly advises against donating to a few organizations.
The DZI donor helpdesk provides further tips and recommendations.