Giving back to society is one of the noblest things any human being can do. It makes us feel good about ourselves and gives us a purpose in life while also benefiting others in need.

But not all charitable deeds come from a place of selflessness. For many who are wealthy, donating to charities is an easy way to escape hefty taxes, get invited to exclusive events, or have their names remembered on places like a hospital building.

The rich have also turned to charity work as a quick-fix whenever their reputation is at risk, or to have greater influence in an organization or country.

But of course, these are unimaginable actions for the commoners among us, many who can only donate to charities whenever we can afford or volunteer our time whenever we can.

A survey done by local donation portal Given has also showed that not being able to afford was one of two reasons holding Singaporeans back from doing charity work. The other reason points to the lack of transparency among charity organizations, rousing speculations of fraud (remember the National Kidney Foundation saga?).

But that should not stop us from giving back to society. A $5 or $10 note might not make a big difference in a needy person’s life or solve the world of poverty, but when it’s collected from a thousand donors, the accumulated amount could be enough to provide for a rural village or even save lives.

One way to ensure that your donations go through the right channels and people is by making sure that you do a thorough research on the non-profits you would like to donate to, the same way you would when researching an investment. Write to them or give them a call with your questions, and if they are responsible and legitimate, they should be willing to attend to your queries.

Here are some examples of charity organizations in Singapore:

  1. Action for AIDS
  2. Beyond Social Services
  3. TOUCH Community Services
  4. Singapore Red Cross Society
  5. Food from the Heart
  6. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals