You can learn more about an NGO by checking their website, annual reports or profile. You can also call them – when NGO’s realise that potential donors are interested in the quality of their work they will be more inclined to improve this.
Some important issues to find out about before donating:
- What is the NGO’s policy on being accountable to its donors and the Australian public?
- Do they just give you stories and pictures or do they provide detailed project evaluation reports and budgets
- What is the NGO’s policy on being accountable to the people they claim to be helping
- Are communities able to get information about the project plans, budgets and evaluations?
- What is the NGO’s policy on allowing communities to participate in the projects that are supposed to be helping them?
- When the NGO approaches a community with a project idea what changes do they allow the community to make to it? In what ways can a community make changes to a project once it has started? Try asking for examples.
- Does the NGO directly support local communities, groups and civil society?
- Does the NGO have environmental sustainability, accountability and human rights as core values? How have they implemented these?
- Does the NGO have a religious affiliation? If so you should feel comfortable with this
- Is the NGO a signatory to the Australian Council For International Development (ACFID) Code of Conduct which ensures accountability or equivalent? To find out check on ACFIDs list
- How big is the NGO?
- Consider searching out smaller organisations that do equally good work but may not have the public profile of larger organisations. – you can get information on the size of an organisation by looking at the financial and administrative information at Giving One Percent
- For emergency relief –
as the NGO been active in the affected area?
- This indicates the likelihood that they will continue providing support in the long term, which is very important for recovery.
Giving One Percent – Information on deciding how much to give and who to give to (free)
Give Well (Australia) – Charity research for fee-paying subscribers, one free charity search per day
Philanthropy Australia – Information on giving, particularly directed at philanthropic foundations and trusts