I just learned that one of the charity causes I support has matching funds that might expire unused. It’s called Blessing Hands and helps fund school for poor kids in China. Here’s the form to donate this year and get your donation effectively doubled, adding to the already great charity ROI projects like this attain by helping those in really poor countries.
Another great charity is KIVA at Kiva.org these are actual *loans* rather than money you simply give. I’d heard of KIVA but only decided to get involved when Adam Lasnik showcased a project on his blog that looked great. Thanks Adam!
Lastly consider NetAid.org which works to alleviate extreme poverty in 3rd world, mostly through water, health, and education projects. Here also you get to pick the type of project to support and learn a lot about the situation.
Why am I not listing US Charities here? I do believe in supporting your local neighborhood, schools, city, and local charities for the obvious reasons. However as a business guy I really believe that you should also look to the places where you get a very high return on investment whether it’s running your business or helping out other people.
Here in the great USA we have a lot more disposable income and affluence than in most other areas, so it’s easy and painless to have a huge impact on the lives of those in the third world by making even modest donations. It’s neat to know that your money has maximum impact in places where even a hundred dollars can wind up saving a child’s life.