Can't decide which charity to give to? New website recommends worthwhile charities

Social enterprise Just Cause aims to have a series of "Giving Guides" to help donors evaluate which charity to give to.
Social enterprise Just Cause aims to have a series of "Giving Guides" to help donors evaluate which charity to give to.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM JUSTCAUSEASIA.ORG

SINGAPORE - Want to donate to a charity but not sure which one? A first-of-its-kind website which recommends charities may help you decide.

Launched on Thursday (Feb 25) by local social enterprise Just Cause, the website is found here.

Just Cause intends to have a series of "Giving Guides" for different parts of the charity sector, and has come up with a guide on charities that help vulnerable women. It will continue to evaluate charities that serve other groups this year.

After an assessment, it has recommended four charities: the Association of Women for Action and Research (Aware); Daughters of Tomorrow, which teaches underprivileged women here basic business literacy and craft skills; PPIS (Singapore Muslim Women's Association); and Society for Wings, which promotes active ageing among women.

Just Cause founder Emily Perkin said there are close to 40 charities here which help vulnerable women. Due to limited resources, Just Cause chose 15 charities through word of mouth, of which only about 10 agreed to be assessed.

Just Cause was set up in 2015 and offers consulting and research services to charities. Ms Perkin, a permanent resident here, is from Britain and has spent about 12 years in the non-profit sector, including three years here.

Ms Perkin said it can be daunting for donors to decide which charity to support, when there are more than 2,000 registered charities here.

She said: "We believe that more people would give money if they had access to this type of trustworthy information. People are holding back from giving because they lack the information to give them the confidence to donate."

She also noted that in the private sector, investors can look for independent analysis reports when deciding which company to invest in, but there is no similar service for the charity sector here, especially in the public domain.

"By providing this information (on charities), more money can get channelled to great charities, and in turn, those charities can do even more of their great work," she said.

The assessment framework developed by Just Cause evaluates 12 aspects of a charity, including governance and social impact. Unlike many existing frameworks, Just Cause also surveyed a charity's beneficiaries, volunteers and partners for their views on the charity.

Ms Perkin said its framework was built upon other ones such as the Practical Quality Assurance System for Small Organisations (PQASSO) in Britain, with inputs from local experts such as the National Council of Social Service.

WINGS' president Anthea Ong said: "The result affirmed what we did right, and pointed out opportunities and improvements to better reach out to our beneficiaries, partners and supporters... I highly encourage other VWOs (voluntary welfare organisations) to explore working with Just Cause to see what possibilities emerge."