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Ask questions to donate on a right cause!


2014-12-01, RSS

-Dr Anupam Pokharel Donations are never asked for a bad cause. The causes are mainly one of these categories: health, education, or infrastructure. People are generally generous. People usually support when it comes about helping suffering fellow human beings. For the migrant population there is more to it. They have a deep rooted guilt for leaving their country of origin. This makes them yearn to contribute in whatever way they can to support their own people who they left behind. Charity for them is not only giving for needy, it is salvaging their own soul too. We have recently seen charity for different philanthropic activities. Building an old age facility in Eastern Nepal, constructing a bridge in Western Nepal, supporting a school in Far Western Nepal, and the latest in that list is for starting a lifestyle modification clinic in Nepal. All these are great initiatives by some energetic individuals or groups. Such charitable activities needs a lot of time and energy, and most of them are run by volunteers, with no expectation of financial gain. They all deserve sincere appreciation. While I appreciate the good intentions for these great initiatives, I also wonder any exact mechanism to ensure the contributions reach the intended beneficiaries. I also would like to know if the charitable work is actually needed by the persons or the community. I also expect a process to track down if the projects were completed. I have hence listed a few questions for all of us to ask when we get any request to contribute in a charitable program - 1. What is the basis of you coming to a conclusion that this project is needed for the population you have identified. Have you got some data to support the need? Have you done any research or consultation on this? Have you developed any proposal? 2. What is the total cost estimated for this program? How much of that you are expecting to collect form the charitable work? What are the other source of funding? 3. Who will be working on the ground to achieve your target? Do you have a robust mechanism to ensure the money will be spend appropriately? 4. Are you relying on other local organization in the target population to achieve your goals? In that case, what are the details of that organization. Has your partner organization done similar or responsible charitable work in the past? Does the partner organization have appropriate manpower and capacity to carry out that work? 5. Whether you are yourself carrying out the charitable work or handing over the donations to your partner organization, can you advise how exactly you plan to achieve your goals? 6. Is your organization's yearly financial report available on your website? If not, is it readily available on request? 7. Is your organization registered by federal, state and/or local authorities? Is the contribution is tax deductable? 8. Is there any provision of providing feedback? If yes please tell me how? 9. Rather than responding to individual queries, have you published or are you prepared to publish response to the above questions on your website? The intention of this article is not to discourage any charitable work. Charity is a noble deed. I however stress on the need to make charities more accountable and responsible. One of the ways is by asking them questions. Investigating and providing them feedback hopefully helps them to remain responsible. Your charitable contribution of your hard earn money deserves the charity organization be transparent, responsible and able, and also who are able to answer the above questions in a direct, honest and accessible manner.

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