How to choose a charity to donate to

Choosing charities to donate to can sometimes be overwhelming. On the Good2Give Workplace Giving Platform, we have over 2,500 charities covering 19 cause areas. We have found that people mainly donate to charities with high brand awareness, as these charities are the ones usually top of mind. At Good2Give we are passionate about helping you choose a charity that you personally resonate with. We have put together a guide to help you find the perfect charity to donate to.

Why is giving to charity important?

When you donate money to charity, not only are you helping not-for-profit organisations in need of financial support, it also feels good to give. Research by Professor Baris Yörük shows that giving to others reduces stress and strengthens the immune system. These health-related benefits and the morale boost of altruistic giving will leave you feeling happier and healthier after making a charitable donation.

Choosing the right charity to donate to

Search for a cause

A cause area is the primary aid a charity provides for a particular population. A charity can provide services for more than one cause area, however they will usually focus their services on one main area.
You can browse through the charities in our cause areas using our charity directory or take a look at the image below to see a few of the cause areas on our giving platform.

List of charities to donate to

How to select a cause area?

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing charities to donate to;

  • Passion: you may want to support a cause that you are passionate about such as Sports, Arts and Culture and Animals.
  • Communities: you may belong to or wish to support a particular community such as Indigenous, LGBTQIA+, Children and Young People and Aged Care.
  • Personal experiences: This method of selecting a cause area is particularly important if you have experienced or know someone who has experienced life events such as Homelessness (including Welfare), illnesses (Medical Research, Health and Wellbeing and Mental Health) and People with Disabilities.
  • World-views: Do you have a world-view you would like to support? This could be through supporting charities working in Overseas Aid and Development, Education and the Environment.
  • Emergencies: In times of need such as natural disasters, man-made disasters, pandemics and climate change, you may want to support the cause areas – Emergency Services, Environment and Medical Research.

Popular causes

We looked at the most popular cause areas to support on the Good2Give Giving Platform during 2020. We found that the most popular cause areas included;

  1. Emergency Services
  2. Overseas Aid and Development
  3. Welfare
  4. Animals
  5. Health and Wellbeing

If you’re looking to select your charity based on charity popularity and reputation, you can find a list of our Top 10 charities for workplace giving.

Charity validation

Always make sure you’re assessing a legitimate charity before you make a charitable donation. On the Good2Give Workplace Giving Platform, we take care of charity validations, ensuring your donation always goes to a legitimate charity. If you don’t have access to our Giving Platform, you can check the charity name on the ACNC Charity Register and search for the charity on ABN look up to see their Deductible Gift Recipients (DGR) Item status. A DGR is an organisation that has been registered to receive tax deductible gifts. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to a charity, you have to ensure the charity is a DGR covered by Item 1.

Understanding your donation options

There are a variety of ways you can make a charitable donation. Our recommendation is to check if your organisation has a workplace giving program and donate through your pay. Donations made through your pay are before tax so you will get the immediate tax benefit. If your workplace has a matching scheme, your donation could be double, and sometimes even triple that amount.

E.g. If you’re making a $3 donation out of your pay, depending on your tax bracket it would be approximately $5 to charity. If your workplace chooses to match it, it would be a $10 donation to charity.

tax deductible workplace giving donations

tax deductible donations matched by employer

If you don’t have access to workplace giving, you can donate straight to the charity, often through their website, over the phone, at events and in person.

Ways to donate to charity

What to give to charity

Each charity has different needs. While some charities might need financial donations, others may need skilled volunteering or other particular goods like clothing items. If you want to maximise your impact, take a look at your selected charity’s website, newsletters and social media accounts to see what they need.

Donate money to charity

Donating money to charity is always important as charities need continued financial support. The most effective type of giving is regular giving. Automatic donations that come straight out of your account allows for the charity to properly budget and plan out their charitable activities. While once-off donations are always encouraged, regular giving even if it is a small amount is hugely beneficial for a charity.

Volunteer for charities

Some charities might have enough funding for their charitable activities, but need support in business activities. Many smaller charities need help with activities like building an online presence or switching to online banking. Our partnership with Communiteer allows employees to provide long-lasting skilled volunteering for charities in need.

Fundraise for charities

Fundraising for a charity not only provides financial support, it also raises awareness of the charity through word of mouth. Our partnership with GoFundraise allows you to donate to a fundraising page through your pay.

Top tips for choosing charities to donate to

There are many different Australian charities to choose from and ways to give;

  1. Find a cause area that resonates with you
  2. Select a validated charity within that cause area
  3. Determine your donation type and amount
  4. Regularly check the charity’s communications to see how else you can maximise your impact.