Many of us choose to make donations in memory of our loved ones and those of our friends, colleagues, family members and neighbors. I made one just today in the memory of a friend’s mom. The donation was easy; the death announcement indicated where donations should be made, and I went online and made the payment.
But when making these donations, do we know exactly who is getting the money and how it is being used? And whether or not this organization or cause is in line with our beliefs? Should that even matter?
I did not always worry about the recipient organizations. In fact, I was a staunch advocate in donating to exactly the organization the family selected. In the past I have donated to unfamiliar hospitals and houses of worship. But not anymore.
The recent scandal of the four cancer charities that fraudulently used millions of donated dollars for their own personal use has made me wary of any organization for which I am unacquainted. I now take the time to research organizations before donating money.
Here’s how I recently chose a charitable organization to remember my father on the anniversary of his death. My dad was a World War II veteran and I wanted to locate a military-related charity that would help veterans and their families. My goal was to find a charity that allocated over 85 percent of their donations to the cause being supported and with less than 10 percent spent on administrative expenses.
I think it is a caring gesture for both ourselves and the bereaved to honor someone’s memory with a donation. Just be wise in the organizations you choose.
Robbie Miller Kaplan is an author who writes from a unique perspective as a mother who has lost two children. She has written How to Say It When You Don't Know What to Say, a guide to help readers communicate effectively when those they care about experience loss, now at a reduced price for e-books for "Illness & Death," "Suicide," "Miscarriage," "Death of a Child," "Death of a Stillborn or Newborn Baby," "Pet Loss," "Caregiver Responsibilities," "Divorce" and "Job Loss." All titles are in Amazon's Kindle Store.