Sunday, May 11, 2008

Giving Back

I was talking to my husband tonight about how I've been feeling the urge lately to "give back" to the community and do my part to donate time or money to different charities and organizations. The only problem is, I don't know which ones. I found a website called Charity Navigator and their slogan is "your guide to intelligent giving." Who they are: "Charity Navigator, America's premier independent charity evaluator, works to advance a more efficient and responsive philanthropic marketplace by evaluating the financial health of over 5,300 of America's largest charities." You can look up almost any charity and check out their stats - how much they take in each year, how much they pay out in expenses, how much their CEO's and top employees make, etc. It's very interesting and kind of an eye opener in regards to doing all your homework about an organization before becoming involved, whether it be with your time and/or donating any money. I did find a couple of websites that give options for charities to get involved with: 1) Animal Charities of America: "Protecting pets, wildlife, and endangered species. Teaching people to treat animals with respect. Humane training of animals as helpmates and companions to people in need." Through their Members section, you can view various charities that focus on specific areas of animal rights and choose for yourself which charity you'd like your money to go to; 2) Just Give is an organization that is "Dedicated to creating tools and services to make charitable giving part of our everyday lives, JustGive is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase charitable giving by connecting people with the charities and causes they care most about." They also have a database of charities to choose from, ranging from animal rights and education, to arts & culture, hunger & poverty, and everything in between. I did come across one charity that looks pretty legitimate: Born Free Foundation, "keep wildlife in the wild." They are actively involved in stopping captive animal suffering in zoos, etc.; rescuing big cats from being held captive in tiny cages; rescuing orphaned apes involved in "bushmeat" and exotic pet trades; the protection of wild elephants and their habitats as well as fighting ivory trade and the capture of wild elephants for zoos...these are just a few areas among many that this charity is involved in. I have such a passion and love for animals and feel so strongly about protecting their rights and being a "voice" for them.
I think I have my homework cut out for me to find something I connect with and that I trust to become actively involved with. Do you have any suggestions, comments or experiences with "giving back?" If so, please share!


  1. This is a great idea - I feel the same way. I think you are right - find something you connect and believe in. Let us know your progress!

  2. Thanks Dianna - I'll keep you all posted!

  3. oh, great post jules! and here i was having a pity party for myself all day & i read your post about giving back. what a novel idea! you've found some excellent resources for researching organizations and finding the right one for you. i haven't ever heard of born free, but it sounds really great. thanks for the info and for putting things into perspective (wink, wink).


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