One purpose of simpler living is to free resources for sharing with others. But how can you be sure the money you give is being handled responsibly and for the purpose you intend? The following questions should offer some guidelines on choosing reputable organizations to receive your support.

1. Are the charity’s purposes and goals worthwhile, and ones that you want to support?

2. Are they duplicating the ministries of your own denomination or of other respected organizations?

3. Are the executive staff and board members capable persons of known integrity? Is the board paid? (It shouldn’t be.)

4. How much money actually goes to its ministry and how much to fund-raising and administration? (A reasonable range is 10-25 percent for fund-raising and administrative costs, but watch out for euphemisms in financial reports that may hide excessive expenditures in the wrong areas.)

5. Is the organization audited annually by an independent CPA firm, and are they willing to identify the firm?

6. Are the promotion efforts and reputation above reproach? (If you aren’t sure, a call to the Better Business Bureau or a charity licensing bureau may help.)

7. Have they been offended by my honest questions’?

From THEOLOGY NEWS AND NOTES (published by the Alumni Association of Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena), Oct. 1975, p. 19. Reprinted by permission