"At a time when the need for humanitarian assistance has never been higher and when there are more refugees and displaced people than at any time since the end of the Second World War, charities play an increasingly vital role in meeting human need.[...] I call on people everywhere to volunteer and act charitably in the face of human suffering."
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Message for the International Day of Charity, 5 September 2015
We don't think it would be appropriate to let the weekend pass without highlighting that today, the 5th September 2015, is the Official UN International Day of Charity. The day is used to celebrate the amazing work done by many organisations across the world in helping to combat poverty, offering aid to the disadvantaged and helping raise funds for medical breakthroughs.
The events of the last week have shown the challenging work global charities like the Red Cross, Oxfam and the Order of Malta face. In order to carry out this work they rely a lot on public support for funding. While there is no denying the importance of these large national and international charities to tackle monumental issues like human rights, or curing diseases, it can be very worrying at times to learn that only €1 of a €5 donation will actually make a difference with a majority of the balance being spent on admin and marketing.
It is due to these strong and extremely effective marketing campaigns that we tend to forget about charities close to home, local charities that struggle for donations, despite the worthiness of their selfless intentions. They spend huge amounts of time applying for grants and often have no budget at all to spend on generating future donations through marketing or advertising. These charities are usually staffed by volunteers who work in mediocre conditions yet are still committed to making positive change to their local communities.
Since the early 2000's there has been an active push from the larger charities to be remembered in final wills. After making sure the future of family and friends are looked after, it is now become the norm to leave a gift in your Will to a charitable cause. We love this idea, however, we would love to see more local charities benefit from these thoughtful gifts. Money left to smaller charities is far less likely to have to go through the bureaucracy of the bigger charities and you can be sure that nearly 100% of you donation will benefit your local community.
Our advice to people who are planning on leaving part of their estate to charity is to keep on giving to the big charities, which are doing such incredible work around the world, but to also remember the little guy. From Turas, based in Clanbrassil Street, that offer an amazing range of services such as counselling for those who have recently suffered a bereavement, to The North Louth Hospice that has over the years become a major pillar of support for those suffering with cancer and and a strong arm of guidance to the families.
A small amount to these and other local charities will have massive impact on your community