When it comes to charity, there’s little you could provide that wouldn’t help. Volunteering and donating are both beneficial, depending on which charity you’re trying to help. However, different causes are better supported by one or the other. Let’s look at how you can tell whether it’s more helpful to volunteer or donate.
Question 1: How notable is the charity?
Let’s start off with a question that may or may not narrow down your options. Notable charities, such as the American Red Cross, tend to have plenty of money and volunteers. However, if you’d like to help a large organization like that, it can be more beneficial to donate money. This money may not be immediately needed, but it can be stored away for future use. On the other hand, an abundance of volunteers isn’t really helpful until the need arises.
Things get a little more tricky when it comes to small, local charities. If you’re looking to get involved more in a community-driven cause, it’s a good idea to contact someone on the inside and ask what they need most. Or, you can move on to the following questions.
Question 2: Is it specialized?
Charities vary greatly, but some fall squarely into a specialized category. This can make it tricky for the average person to volunteer. For example, a legal organization would likely require its volunteers to have legal experience. Likewise, research teams would be made up of scientists who specialize in that area. If you have a special skill that you would like to share with the world, then absolutely consider volunteering for one of these charities. Otherwise, it’s better to donate to them and let the professionals do the work.
Question 3: Are they ramping up efforts?
When looking into a charity, you may notice that some have minimal volunteering opportunities unless there is a huge event that warrants the support. These charities often help out with disaster relief, or may support people in the community who are down on their luck. If you want to get involved in a charity like this, check and see if they need temporary volunteers. If not, you could always choose to donate and look to volunteer when the time comes.
Volunteering and donating are both positive things, and most charities will need both at one point or another. Use these questions as a starting point for determining the best way to support the cause you are passionate about.