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5 Reasons to Donate to Local Charities Instead of International Charities

Kimberly Martis is a Dutch Caribbean freelance writer. She writes about culture, beauty, tv-shows, music, movies, odd jobs, and fiction.


You might be thinking of making a donation to a charity. But with so many charities you might not know which one to donate to. International charities may come to mind first as they are well known. But a lot of times it’s better to donate to a local charity as they need your donation just as much as international charities do.

1. Local Support

Local charities often struggle to stay open. This is because they don’t receive as many donations as international charities. By donating to a local charity, you're not only supporting their cause but also the charity itself. When the charity (only) runs on volunteers and donations every penny counts. Local charities usually don’t have the resources to set up big campaigns to recruit donors from all around the world, therefore, they really count on the local people to support them.

2. Helping Your Own Community

Of course, it's great to help the world but often local people, animals or places also need help. International charities usually don’t focus on local problems. And that's where a local charity comes in. They directly help the locals that need help. They also know the needs of its community as they are a part of it. That’s why they are the best to help the community flourish and thrive. So, when you’re supporting a local charity, you’re also supporting your own community. And not only the local people but also the (stray) cats and dogs, recreation centers, monuments, parks, etc.


3. Checking up on Your Donation

International charities often set up big, beautiful and emotional campaigns to make you donate to them. Seeing others around the world suffer is painful and makes you wonder how you can help them. Of course, international charities know how you can help. And that is by donating money to them. Even if it's only a small amount. But how will you actually know where your money went? You can’t just walk in the headquarters and ask for an update. Nor get on your bike and take a look for yourself. You will just have to trust that the charity is doing what they said that they would do. If you donate to a local charity you can walk in the headquarters (which 9 out of 10 times is not a be a big fancy building) and ask them for an update. But what's even better is that you can see with your own eyes where the money went to. All you have to do is go to the people, animals or building(s) that they asked you to donate for. This way you know exactly what is being done with your donation.

4. Salaries and Bonuses

International charities are often very big and have multiple employees. All these employees need to get paid. Of course, the CEO needs to get paid too and receive an annual bonus. These salaries and bonuses are often being paid through donations. Besides that, the salaries of these CEO's (and the bonuses) are very high. Which also makes you wonder why they don’t donate a part of their salaries or bonuses. The staff of a local charity usually (only) exists out of volunteers. The volunteers might only get their travel expenses compensated. By not receiving a salary the biggest part of the donations can go to helping the cause.

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5. Donating Your Time

If you don’t have the money to donate but you would like to help then you can donate some of your time. A lot of local charities can use an extra pair of hands. You don’t have to spend all your time working for charity. But once in a while would be great. Sure, money is great for them to receive as they need if but extra help is also greatly appreciated. Just walk in and ask if you could help. It doesn't have to be something big. It can be just as small as preparing lunch, answering e-mails, cleaning up the place, etc. If you don’t want to do just anything then you can also ask the charity which projects, they have coming up. If one of the projects is something, you’re passionate about then you can ask them if you can get involved with that.

© 2019 Kimberly Martis


Kimberly Martis (author) on June 10, 2019:

Hi! Yes, knowing where your resources are going and how they are being used is one of my main reasons to support local charities. It’s important to know what’s going on and unfortunately big international charities aren’t that transparent.

RTalloni on May 24, 2019:

Yes! Local is the way to go. All the reasons you point out are good ones. Being able to know where your resources are going and how they are being handled/used is so important.

Liz Westwood from UK on April 19, 2019:

There are so many needs in the world locally and internationally that it is often difficult to know where best to donate. This article puts the case well for local charities. When donating internationally I sometimes find it better to target giving to people who have direct input or links with groups abroad and where I am more confident that most of the donation will be used to best effect.

Hacicu Bogdan from Cluj-Napoca, Romania on April 19, 2019:

Pretty strong points you've made here! Good job!

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