In the last couple years spouse & I have been trying to find a charitable organization that we can support financially as well as sympathetically.
I'm not asking how to screen a charity. We know how to look up the various groups, their donation records, their boards, their expenses, and their pass-through ratios. I've spent three years as treasurer of a non-profit and we're friends with a consultant to non-profits, so we're pretty clued in to all the things that can go wrong.
What's been difficult is finding something where everything goes right. We'd rather give locally than nationally and we'd rather stick to smaller organizations with less overhead (and more volunteers than employees). As good a job as the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, and the Aloha United Way are doing, they're off our list. As enamored as I am with the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society or the Rabbit Kekai Foundation
, I suspect there are other people who need the money for more urgent issues. Until now we've been donating on our own where it seems appropriate, whether or not it's tax-deductible.
We finally stumbled across The Women's Fund
. "Raising money and bestowing grants between $1,000 and $10,000 to organizations that help women and girls 'become safe, financially secure and empowered' is the mission of the nonprofit founded in 1989, which has 350 members statewide." We have a bit of due diligence to do but the concept is intriguing.
Does anyone have a similar organization in their local area? Any pitfalls or problems to report? Any better ideas?