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There are plenty of charities and philanthropic organizations out there. While that’s great for all of the causes in the world, it’s hard to choose where to put your donations and volunteer efforts. Once you’ve picked a cause you’re passionate about, you’ll need to sift through all of the relevant organizations in an effort to find the right charity. This blog reviews some of the key traits of great charities.

Track Record

Perhaps the most obvious characteristic of a great charity, track record includes age, any previous litigation issues, and breadth and depth of services. Ideally, you’ll want to pinpoint an organization that has avoided negative press and offers a variety of accessible services, whether that be animal, human, or environmental care. Of course, it’s easy for issues to crop up, especially if the charity in question has been around for a long time. However, charities with no recent issues, or with issues that did not directly detriment those in need, are in the upper echelon of reliable organizations.


A charity’s approach to improving the world can say plenty. The best charities are rigorous in their approaches, promoting their causes and combating widespread issues with specific remedies and aid. While money spent on marketing and other promotions may seem disingenuous, take some time to examine the charity’s campaigns. You might find that the focus is not necessarily on the charity, but on attempts to attack the issue. Do some research into organizations’ approaches to philanthropy and promotion, and you may find a group as passionate about a cause as you are.

Volunteers and Staff

Volunteers and staff are the faces of charities. A life of philanthropic efforts is a rewarding one, to be sure, but what attitudes do volunteers of certain groups hold? The right charity utilizes positive, passionate, and well-informed individuals to address causes and encourage donations and other assistance from the rest of the community. Look into the interpersonal side of a charity to understand the culture and attitudes that pervade the group. Do those cultures and attitudes align with your own?


Transparency goes hand-in-hand with track record to demonstrate a charity’s sense of ethics. To be transparent, a charity should provide detailed reports of its spending and earnings, as well as information about its internal workings. Be wary of groups that make broad claims about the aid they’ve provided—dive deep in the search for specifics and evidence to back up such claims. The right organizations don’t often boast about numbers of aid provided; rather, they push towards the future, continually planning the next steps to making the world a better place.