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Charity Investigation: General Research Guide: Welcome

Use a variety of resources to learn more about your favorite charity or cause.

Welcome and Questions


Welcome to the world of charity investigation. Being a savvy donor or supporter is being a smart consumer. Learning about charities means asking the right questions:

Questions to Ask


  1. Does my charity do what I want it to do? For example, the Humane Society of the United States does not usually fund individual animal shelters. If you are interested in helping stray animals by directly funding their care and adoption, the Humane Society of the United States is probably not a good choice for you. You can learn about your charity's mission by visiting its web site.

  2. Does my charity simply raise funds for other charities? In other words, is your charity only a middle man? You can learn about this by carefully reading the mission and FAQ (frequently asked questions) on a charity or cause' web site.

  3. Is my charity active in a place about which I care? A place about which you care can be right here in Atlanta, the entire United States, the whole world, or any where else that matters to you. What is important is that your charity does its work where you want that work done. You can learn about charity's area of operation by visiting its web page and reading its mission statement.

  4. Is my charity highly efficient and/or well recommended? There are organizations that rate charities. How do they rate your cause?

  5. Does my cause have someone else giving money on my behalf? Usually these are click charities, though they can also be corporate matching funds. In the case of click charities, do you know how much your favorite cause donates per click? You can learn about this by carefully reading your cause' mission statement and learning about cost per click (CPC or CPA) or cost per impression (CPM) advertising.


Your Primary Source

Your Charity or Cause -- The Primary Source

For this project your charity or cause' own web site provides crucial information. It is also a primary source, because the website is the charity's own official words and voice. When you visit a charity's web site, it is as if you are interviewing your charity.

There are two ways to find your charity. If your charity is a Cause on Facebook or has a Facebook page that you like, that page should have a link to your charity on it. Click that link.

A second method for finding your charity's web page is to search for it on Google. Enter the name of your charity in "quotes" and search. Your charity should appear just below the sponsored links.

Your search oftgen begins in  Google

Mission Statement for Alex' Lemonade Stand On your charity's web page, look for the link that says Mission or About. Read what it has to say. The Mission/About statement explains

  • What the charity does in detail
  • Where it does its work.
  • And how it's click donation program works if it has one.

Your charity's page and its mission/about statements should definitely be one of your three sources.