Posted by: greatfoundation | January 6, 2010

Donors wake up: Do you know where your money goes?

At some point or the other all of us have donated money or in kind to NGOs either for the aged people or children belonging to underprivileged schools, slums or women (commercial sex workers – CSW) or children (children of CSW).

We believe that it feels good when one does yeoman service but does a “Donor” follow-up with the NGO as to where the money has been given, who is the old person, child or woman receiving it.

1. Do we know what cause have we donated for?
2. Is the money reaching the right child, woman or aged person?
3. Do you know: If your money is helping them or is the NGO simply guzzling it?
4. Does the donor (you) bother: Is the NGO open to the donors visiting the child, woman or aged person who they have sponsored or donated articles to?
5. Do you ever bother: How the child, woman or aged person is faring?
6. Is the article, notebook or saree purchased with our (donors) hard-earned money reaching the right audience?

The answer to most of the above-mentioned questions would be a “No”.

To begin with, many of you donate for the feel good factor or tax saving or just for the sake of it and then forget that we have donated (for some cause). Majority of the donors do not even know why they have donated the money…leave alone to which organization they have donated…

It is good to donate but I believe that everyone should maintain a check system as to what is being done with the money or the items donated in kind.

First of all a donor one should know the cause/reason for which he/she is donating, once that is clear a donor can safely ensure answers to the remainder questions. (A donor should know the exact cause of the funding or donation, for example, educating a woman, child, etc). After all, it is your hard-earned money and why should one not bother about where your money is going? Metaphorically, it is equivalent to your investment in stocks and it should earn you a return…no doubt not monetary but social in nature – that fetches you a return to see a child getting educated, a woman becoming independent or an aged person being given the necessities, etc.

Secondly, a donor should ensure that the money is going to the right child, woman or aged person. It can be done through a simple mail to the NGO requesting them to provide details/profile of the child, woman or aged person who you have sponsored. This helps a donor to identify the person and associate with his/her (donors) effort to bring about a change in the life of the underprivileged. This helps a donor ensure that the money is reaching the right person & is being used for the right reason.

Thirdly, it is always good to maintain track of the child, woman or aged person you have sponsored. One can do this by giving a surprise visit to the school, aged home, women centre, etc. Through surprise visits one witnesses reality of the situation. NGO’s which are into guzzling money, can be easily identified and uncovered through surprise visits and a few basic check systems. Thus, one can safely ensure that your money is being used for the right cause over the right person and is not being embezzled.

However, in certain situations it is not possible to visit the place and check (especially for CSWs).

In case of donations in kind we should just stick with surprise visits and ask the children, women or aged people off hand whether they received any kind of things or articles…This is definitely a sure shot way to check things.

On an ending note you would say, why I am asking donors to be more alert or proactive. The reason behind this is that I personally believe that one should be accountable for every penny to the minutest detail. Especially when it is your hard-earned money.

So all donors let us become more alert and proactive compared to reactive….and know “Where your money goes?”



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jaslene Bawa, GreatFoundation. GreatFoundation said: Donors wake up: Do you know where your money goes? […]

  2. agree donation should be given to an organisation you can trust!!

    • Yes that is completely true. one should be able to trust the organisation who you are donating…

  3. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by GreatFoundation: Donors wake up: Do you know where your money goes?

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