How to Choose Which Nonprofits to Support

How to Choose Which Nonprofits to Support

how choose which nonprofits support
How to Choose Which Nonprofits to Support

As Autumn takes its sweet time to roll in, we can’t help but notice our social feeds quickly beginning to fill up with influencers apple-picking in oversized sweaters and posing perfectly in pumpkin patches. A true indication that the Season of Giving is upon us.

In 2017, over an estimated 410 billion dollars were given to charitable causes with 30% of those donations given in December alone

Now, hold on to your butts, because a whopping 70% of those donations were straight from fine folks just like yourselves.

Yup. We’re talking individual donors.

We’re not here to say, “We told you so.” But, we meant it when we said we’re stronger when we work together.

Did you think that was a global figure? Oh, no-no-no.

That’s just in the US of A. Take a bow, America! We give more to charities than any other country around the world.

That being said, we felt now would be a great time to share some valuable information we securely lock away at DTD’s HQ. (Otherwise known as our founder’s couch.)

You see, we’ve hand-picked every single awesome nonprofit that you see on our partner’s page and, well, we have some pretty *high* standards…

Let’s just say, if you called us “experts”, we wouldn’t correct you.

It took countless hours to find nonprofits that both worked in tandem with the Sustainable Development Goals and practiced transparency. So, during this inevitably busy season of giving, we’ll save you some time and share some fool-proof tips on how to choose which nonprofits to support.

How to Choose Which Nonprofits to Support


Repeat after me: 501(c)3

A certified Non-Profit Organization is registered as “tax-exempt”. Also referred to as an NGO, charity … or 501(c)3. It’s a lot to take in with us throwing all of these terms around, but you can usually find their 501(c)3 badge of approval at the bottom of most nonprofit websites.

Being a tax-deductible organization means everything is on public record from the charity’s location to how much the CEO makes. And it’s all useful information that you might wanna take into consideration when choosing a charity.

If you’re concerned about the organization’s religious or political motives, you’re able to see exactly where the donations are coming from on their annual reports. Those juicy details are available on sites like:

-Charity Navigator

-American Institute of Philanthropy 

-Charity Watch


Financial reports are serious business, however Dan Pallotta’s TED Talk hits the nail on the head urging us to allow charities the financial freedom to be innovative in an attempt to gain more donors or permit larger projects that may require more time and capitol.

Our man Dan references how he didn’t raise over $200 million in AIDS research by putting up flyers at cafes. It took campaigns, marketing, and of course, money upfront.

Spending money to make money. A concept that’s proven successful time and time again with regular old for-profit businesses.

Why can’t we allow Charities to do the same? We could go on and on about this, but we suggest you watch that TED Talk. It’s undeniable and worth every 18 minutes and 40 seconds of listening.

Either way, do some detective work and support transparent causes that get sh*t done.


Consider this a two-for-one.

First, what’s the nonprofit’s mission?

Every NGO has a mission. It’s most likely painted across their website a trillion times.

This part is easy: Does it align with your fundamental goals and values?

Yes? Great! We’re getting close to picking a charity.

Second, is it realistic?

Listen, we all have dreams. Believe me. We had The Area 51 Raid marked on our calendars ever since we saw the first memes. But we can’t always get what we want. It still stings.

In the non-profit sector, the charity should be able to provide a detailed outline of how they’ll achieve their goals. This includes spending reports, projections and an outline explaining. Think of it as a business plan that’s available to the public.

While we’re at it, let’s make sure the charity is aware of their impact beyond their mission and is able to confirm that there aren’t any negative side effects or repercussions.

For example, a common practice has been sending inexperienced volunteers to poverty-stricken areas in an attempt to provide aid and education.

The intention is altruistic, yet oftentimes there are cultural adjustments and learning curves. As a result, volunteers are often hurting more than helping.

The alternative, and far more productive, is working with existing community leaders to provide tools and resources that will be valuable for them to implement and educate within their society. In return, we gain understanding, help our fellow humans and avoid conflict and anxiety attacks. We actually have an incredible episode of Good Work that talks about this exact setback.


There is an unfair amount of causes out there that need, deserve, and aren’t getting support.

Disaster relief, reproductive rights, mental health, veteran support, LGBTQ rights, gun reform, environmental, animals, children, refugees and what about the whales?

The list is long and constantly growing. Whether it be international organizations or grassroots ones, we believe NGOs are valuable no matter how big or small.

Whether you switch it up monthly, annually or biannually, diversifying your donations is the best way to support the multiple causes you believe in.

At Down to Donate, we believe that micro-donations have the biggest impact. Think of it like pitching in for the keg. We all put in a little, and then our environmentally friendly cups seem to have a never-ending stream of booze.

Micro donations are another way to contribute to the multiple causes you support without going into debt.

For $8 a month you can donate one of our vetted non-profit partners or split a single donation between up to 3 different non-profits. Every month you can change it up, diversifying your dollars that are making a difference all over the damn place.

Basically, skip the research. We got you.

Are you a registers 501(3)c Looking to partner with us at Down To Donate? Click here!

Are you a donor that wants to suggest a cause? Perfect! Suggest a cause here!

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