Looking for a Children’s Charity to donate to? Do your research.
As a company that interfaces with literally thousands of charities, we’ve seen various methods for choosing nonprofits to receive proceeds from car donations to children’s charities. The good news is that you have total freedom of choice – you can benefit any cause, as long as it’s a bona fide 501(c)(3).
If you need help choosing a cause, there are easy ways to find one worthy of your hard-earned contribution.
One of the best ways to select an organization to receive your donation is by consulting CharityWatch, which is itself a nonprofit. Created as the American Institute of Philanthropy, the staff members conduct research on charities and publish findings, as well as contribute to articles distributed in various media as a service to the public. https://www.charitywatch.org/top-rated-charities
On the CharityWatch website you can search nonprofit groups by name or search an area or a category, such as animal rescues, veterans or local children’s charities, etc.
The criteria used by CharityWatch for grading each nonprofit requires hard work by staff members. Analysts do deep research into each of the charities, looking at their finances, including audited tax forms, reports and government documents. Each nonprofit gets a grade of A+ through F.
To create the scores, Charity Watch looks at a couple of categories of criterion. An important one is the examination by researchers of money spent on programs. This score reveals the percentage of gross receipts that goes straight to the charity’s programming. The remaining percentage is the total spent on overhead, including management and fundraising efforts.
The organization also looks at the cost to raise $100: This is the amount a charity pays out in the process of fundraising $100. A charity is considered “highly efficient” if it spends $25 or less to raise $100 and at least 75% or more goes directly to the charity’s program.
Another part of the process that makes the CharityWatch score stand out in its detailed analysis is that their researchers analyze expenses to include contributions, not just total revenue. The mission of CharityWatch, to publish accurate statistics, is for the benefit of donors, to help them locate worthy recipients – nonprofits with high standards.
Groups included on the CharityWatch Top-Rated List:
• Don’t hold excessive assets in reserve
• Have met CharityWatch's governance benchmarks
• Openly disclose basic financial information with a great deal of transparency.
Attorney General Website
One of the jobs of the state attorney general is to monitor charity actions, making sure regulations are being followed, and therefore, donors’ interests are protected. This governmental entity oversees charitable assets to make sure they aren’t misapplied. https://oag.ca.gov/charities
The office has two main elements:
• The Charitable Trusts Section has a team of auditors and lawyers who bring legal action against any nonprofit or fundraiser that misuses money from donors or engages in fraud.
• The Registry of Charitable Trusts contains information from each nonprofit in the state, which are all required to register. Charity raffles are also required to register and file a report annually.
The State Attorney General website has a “Guide for Charities” you can refer to for more information. And there’s a webinar to further punctuate the contents of the guide. It’s also available on the Department of Justice website.
You can look up particular charities to see government research and confirm their validity using the Registry Verification Search tool on the Attorney General website: http://rct.doj.ca.gov/Verification/Web/Search.aspx?facility=Y
Identifying a Cause
Once you’ve determined you’d like to make a donation – either cash, creating a trust for down the line, or donate a car to charity – you begin the process of narrowing down a cause you feel passionate about.
When searching for the best children’s charities, you have a tremendous number of choices. Your own experiences may affect the type of nonprofit you choose to support.
Adults who suffered from childhood illnesses often feel called to support a medical charity, because they’re empathetic to the burden on families, or they want to see more research go to a particular field of medicine. Members of the nonprofit Adult Survivors of Child Abuse may choose to donate to an organization that supports the emotional needs of kids, such as the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.
Children who are hungry
Approximately 20% of homes with children in the U.S. are experiencing what’s called “food insecurity,” according to DoSomething.org, a global campaign to do good. That means they lack access, at least some of the time, to enough food for everyone in the household.
There’s food insecurity in every county in the United States and 49 million individuals have trouble earning enough money to feed the family.
And that’s just in America.
One of the most reputable children’s charities addressing the problem of kids without enough to eat is Food for the Hungry, a nonprofit organization centered on reducing poverty as a solution. The mission of the charity is to end all forms of human poverty, which is fueled by Christian principles and furthered through providing physical relief in more than 20 countries.
“It’s our responsibility to advocate for the poor and marginalized without any regard to race, creed or nationality and without adverse distinction of any kind,” the website says. “We serve on the basis of need alone. We strive to respect the culture and customs of the people we serve in order to preserve their humanity and dignity.”
Staffed by individuals who are citizens of the nations they serve, the charity’s workers bring clean water, food, medical services and educational opportunities to both boys and girls, empowering young people to help them overcome cultural challenges. Setting them apart from other children’s charities, Food for the Hungry treats their clients holistically – seeking to meet a range of needs and lighten the burdens shouldered by these international children.
Supporting Food for the Hungry is contributing resources to areas that grow in sustainability, where they no longer need help once structures are in place. Members of these communities gain a spiritual center while also rising above poverty level.
Children who need clothing
Underprivileged kids in Southern California have a friend in Felicia Killian, who wanted to provide clothing and shoes for them, which she did when she launched Younited Hearts. A faith-based children’s charity, the nonprofit brings together individuals who demonstrate compassion by collecting clothing for kids, homeless families, veterans and victims of human trafficking.
It has grown to include chapters in Orange County, Los Angeles, Riverside, Coachella and other areas. Younited Hearts seeks to enrich the lives of the financially challenged by redistributing clothing – which seems simple, but can be an important component in the life of an American child.
Anyone can contribute by donating clothes or school supplies to Younited Hearts to exhibit Christian generosity to low-income families. It’s something most Americans have – an excessive wardrobe – and is a more personal gesture than writing a check.
Children who have cancer
The nonprofit Wishers and Dreamers was formed by two sisters – adult women who saw firsthand the suffering endured by children who are victims of cancer. Over the two years that Trish Stuber was battling breast cancer, she and her sister, Pamela Babek, crossed paths with a lot of others struggling with serious illnesses. Among the most needy were children with cancer diagnoses.
They formed Wishers and Dreamers in 2013, hoping to comfort these kids and to bring some happiness to them in the midst of hardship. The name of the nonprofit was taken from the nicknames the sisters had for each other when they were growing up (and still use).
Donations to Wishers and Dreamers provides a hospital gown for a sick child’s doll or bear, which the founders, their friends and family members sew by hand. The charity has sent thousands of gowns to kids all over the world.
The organization has 4 sponsorship packages:
• Twinkle Sponsorship – covers the cost of material, sewing and shipping for 100 gowns
• Dream Sponsorship – covers the cost of material, sewing and shipping for 250 gowns
• Wish Sponsorship – covers the cost of material, sewing and shipping for 500 gowns
• Star Sponsorship – covers the cost of material, sewing and shipping for 1,000 gowns
For many children with cancer or other serious disease or condition, their little bear, doll or buddy provides them with more comfort than nearly anything else. The handmade gowns can give them courage or be used as a teaching tool.
Donate a car to children’s charities
There are limits to how many checks we can write to nonprofit groups each year. For many of us, we are giving a lot of time to charity already – through our kids’ schools, for a place of worship, or maybe through membership in a service organization or club.
At times, we have the means to support something we care about, such as local children’s charities, but we don’t realize it. Donating cars for kids offers something we own that has value – but without the hassle of liquidating the car ourselves and minus the money physically changing hands.
Imagine the car you were already thinking of replacing providing comfort for a child battling leukemia or juvenile diabetes? The power to heal is sometimes in your hands, which is made easier when you have a resource to take control of the transaction for you.
It’s what we do at Cars2Charities.
If you’re “going green” and getting an electric or hybrid vehicle, you can donate a car to Younited Hearts and turn the gas guzzler into a gift for underprivileged individuals. Imagine how many gently used outfits your old car could purchase!
Or what about using the value of the car you no longer need to provide food for the hungry? Perhaps you need a more reliable set of wheels for your work or to carpool your own kids. If you think about it, you can benefit your own children while you help others across the world who need clean water and fresh food.
A car donation to Food for the Hungry does just that.
Just as there are many 501(c)(3) organizations you can support, there are many ways to do it. You can search your heart for the place you’re most passionate. Which nonprofit personally tugs at your heartstrings?
Then you can consider how many options you have to support that group. The win-win from a car donation to children’s’ charities can’t be overstated. When you have a vehicle you need to sell, trade in or give away, it’s a hassle. Through Cars2Charities you have zero work to do!
You can make a simple call or donate online and your car is picked up and the paperwork completed. You collect the tax write-off and your favorite charity receives a check.
Children are society’s most valuable resource, and it’s rare to find a person who doesn’t want to benefit them in any way possible. They just need to know there’s a path where they can do that, and it’s not as difficult as they imagined.
There are many prospects when you want to donate to children’s charities. And each nonprofit group can be researched and their process explained to you by reaching out to them.