Online guide gives donors more info on charities

Social enterprise Just Cause evaluates organisations for free for its series of guides

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

Launched yesterdayby local social enterprise Just Cause, the website is at www.justcauseasia.org

Just Cause aims to have a series of "Giving Guides" for different parts of the charity sector, and has come up for now with a guide on charities that help vulnerable women. 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.

It will continue to evaluate charities that serve other groups and recommend them online later.

Just Cause was set up last year and offers consulting and research services to charities. But its assessment of the charities for the Giving Guides is done for free.

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 by word of mouth, of which about 10 agreed to be assessed.

Ms Perkin, a permanent resident, said it can be hard for donors to decide which charity to support when there are over 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 noted that, in the private sector, investors can look for independent reports to decide which firm to invest in, but there is no similar service for the charity sector here.

The assessment framework developed by Just Cause evaluates 12 aspects of a charity, including governance and social impact. Unlike many existing frameworks, it also surveys a charity's beneficiaries, volunteers and partners.

Wings president Anthea Ong said: "The (assessment) affirmed what we did right, and pointed out opportunities and improvements to better reach out to our beneficiaries, partners and supporters."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 26, 2016, with the headline 'Online guide gives donors more info on charities'. Print Edition | Subscribe