Giving to a charity can be difficult. Which charity to choose, how much? Will it make a difference? Learn how to invest, not just give with Lend with Care.
Imagine that you want to support a charity and donate. In the UK there are now more than 168,000 registered charities. That is almost two full Wembley Stadiums. A lot of choice.
Then come the questions of which cause to support, how much to give, and how much of your donation (after expenses) reaches the end user? How do you know that your giving does good? Will you feel connected to your gifts? Will the giving solve a problem or merely alleviate a symptom?
The hedonic treadmill is the concept that as your lifestyles improve or change you merely adapt and accept the new normal as a happiness baseline. There are psychological studies that suggest that giving may be an exception to this rule. Giving seems to provide happiness benefits each time you do it - i.e. you don’t ‘get used’ to it.
You could give to the local charity on your high street, offer change to the homeless or give a lump sum gift to an international charity. While you’ll have to be the judge of the efficacy of your giving you may feel disassociated from the gift if you don’t see the effects of your gift.
Give a man a fish and feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime
So how can you get involved and see that you can make a difference? And how can you put yourself in a position to repeat your good work?
One way to overcome these factors is to consider microfinance loans. Lend with Care is a giving website that enables you to provide support with microfinance loans.
This giving allows you to:
- feel connected to an idea and a community
- help solve underlying problems
- know that your gift really does some good.
In their own words Lend With Care “brings together entrepreneurs in developing countries with people with the power to help them - people like you. Run by one of the world's leading aid and development organisations, Lendwithcare is a revolutionary way for you to help people in the developing world to transform their lives.”
A donor is given the choice of projects to back; from loans to farming collectives or financial backing for machinist equipment purchases, and in countries as diverse as Pakistan, Ecuador, and the Philippines.
Lend with care tells you where your loan goes and gives you progress updates. You can back a business from £15 as your donation is aggregated with donations from other donors. Over 12 months the entrepreneur hopefully repays the loans and you can either withdraw or find another project to back.
If you love statistics then the website gives you that in spades; how many family members you’ve helped, how many projects have been backed, and how many people were employed in these projects.
Essentially you see the good your gift has done, feel connected to the projects you backed, and can see your donation making a difference many times over as you donate to each project.
Obviously where it comes to backing a business, there is risk involved - you may not get all or any of your donation back. Further, you don’t receive any interest payments, so this is not an investment. Fundamentally Lend with Care offers you the chance to do a world of good and feel better yourself.
This option is very different to putting loose change into a bucket. If it goes well, your investment could stimulate change and growth in a host of different situations. The gift that keeps on giving.
Charity begins at home and can be highly personal. Many donors support causes that have personally affected them or their families. Microfinance is simply an alternative option which you may not have come across yet.
If microfinance isn’t for you, take a look at this blog on giving with maximum effect. Simply reviewing your giving options may give you a deeper sense of satisfaction and insight. Giving can leave you with a sense of long-lasting joy. If you have wider questions about your situation and whether you have the financial scope to help others, contact the team at Capital.