What to look for when researching a charity
For any donation advice we receive, The Gift Trust undertakes basic due diligence for our donor advisers. We have outlined some of these below to help you with your own donation choices.
Basic due diligence
- Check charitable status - Check the charities register to ensure the charity is registered and is maintaining its status
- Review the trust mission and deed - Check that the trust has a clear trust deed and mission that outlines its purpose and direction and meets your charitable goals
- Review financials - Does the charity look solvent and likely to be around for the next 12 months? Are they overly reliant on one form of funding, if so, can we help them change this? Do they have 3 to 6 months of reserve funds to keep operating?
- Strong governance - Check that there is a board of trustees that looks to have the right skills and expertise to run this trust to achieve its charitable purposes
For our premium accounts, we will undertake more detailed due diligence and talk directly to the charity to find out more about their current situation and needs.
We encourage more thoughtful giving:
"The recipe for thoughtful giving requires a mixture of ingredients. Understanding why you are giving, what change you want to make, and the best way for you to go about it, leads to effective giving that can have a real impact"
- Philanthropy New Zealand
The Gift Trust is a member of Philanthropy New Zealand.
Charity research tools
If you are interested in learning more about a specific New Zealand charity, you can search the Charities Register here. This provides access to publicly available information on a charitable trust's purpose, activities, financials, trustees and more.
While New Zealand doesn't currently have an independent charity evaluator, there are global tools that can help provide guidance and advice for charities with an international reach.
Effective Alturism, Peter Singer: Australian Philosopher Peter Singer, on what's the most effective way to give charitably. More from Peter below in this TED talk.