How to Decide Where to Donate

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Donors are the financial lifeblood of nonprofits. If you donate to an organization like the Council, you deserve to know your gifts are being used as intended. Reputable charities strive to be transparent with how gifts are used.

As a sign of reputability, some organizations rate nonprofits based on certain criteria. These criteria could be the financial health of the organization, accountability and transparency within the organization, and the charity’s ability to affect change.

Rating sites like Charity Navigator rank nonprofits with at least $1 million in revenue for two consecutive years, a threshold which the Council does not meet. Even if a nonprofit is not ranked by another organization, you as a donor can determine if that charity is a worthy recipient of your gift by.

  • Asking for an Annual Report (shows transparency, results, # of people served).
  • Examining the website (contact information, staff and board member names, whether donors can choose to be anonymous).
  • Perusing social media (their activities, collaborations, people and other organizations they connect with).
  • Reviewing the organization’s Form 990, available publicly at Guidestar.org (shows program expenses, sources of revenue, salary of CEO, and fundraising costs).

If all this research suggests the organization is a viable candidate for your gift, contact the organization directly and speak with the Fund Development Director or CEO/Executive Director. Some questions you could ask are:

• What is your organization’s mission?

• What are your organization’s goals?

• What progress is your organization making towards its goals?

• How would my gift be used?

The Council appreciates and relies upon donations, and uses those gifts to impact the lives of people experiencing vision loss. The Vision Services team does not turn anyone away, and does not charge clients for initial or follow-up in-home vision rehabilitation visits. This ensures clients get the services they need, regardless of their financial situation. Through visits, clients have obtained access to magnifiers that help them read the newspaper or pay bills. They learn tips for organizing and labeling items in their homes and get ideas to help them adapt to their changing vision.

By choosing to donate to the Council, you will provide assistance to someone who does not know where else to turn. If you wish, your donation can remain anonymous. Gifts can be made online at WCBlind.org, by check, or by phone call. If you have questions about the Council or wish to make a gift over the phone, contact Lori, Fund Development Director, at (608) 237-8114 or lwerbeckes@WCBlind.org. Thank you for your generosity and for doing your research and giving to commendable organizations.

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