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What Charity Should I Donate To?

What Charity Should I Donate To?

The 8 Types of Charities and Which Type to Support

Choosing which charity to support is a big deal. When you give a donation, you want to make sure that your hard-earned money goes to an organization that can make a tangible impact on the world, and do so in a sustainable and long-lasting way. With so many charities out there, it can be difficult to choose which one to support. 

One of the best methods for choosing a charity to support is through Maimonides’ 8 Levels of Charity. Maimonides, a renowned Jewish philosopher and scholar, created these 8 Levels of Charity as a comprehensive blueprint to determine the best type of charitable giving.

Maimonides ladder of giving. Higher numbers represent a higher degree of virtue:

Maimonides ladder of giving

According to his blueprint , the lower forms of giving are those where the giver doesn’t really want to give, but is just doing so to feel like a good person, or when donations are made publicly, so that others are made aware of the donor’s generosity. Corporations make these kinds of donations all the time, usually as a marketing ploy.

However, the highest type of charity is when donations are made to help sustain a person before they become impoverished, to lift a person out of poverty by making it unnecessary for them to become dependent on others, and ultimatly anything that helps a person to become self-reliant. 

This type of charity is about giving whatever it takes - money, time, or anything else - to help a person or community become self-reliant, so they’ll never need charity again. It’s the old adage of “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime”.

the highest type of charity 

Even if you don’t agree with the categories laid out by Maimonides, it’s tough to argue that there’s anything better than his description of a level 1 charity.

Think about it.

When given the choice, would you rather support a charity that continuously throws money and resources at a problem without actually solving the problem, or would you prefer to donate to a charity that tackles the root causes?

Sponsor a child's education

Find a Level 1 Charity to Support

Many organizations don't tackle root causes but Caritas for Children is one such organization, fulfilling all the requirements of a level 1 charity. CARITAS doesn't just throw money at poor communities and hope for the best, instead, CARITAS focuses especially on the education and training of children to ensure that communities sustain themselves long term without a dependence on charitable donations.

The CARITAS vision is to build self-sustaining communities by providing Catholic education, creating infrastructure, training local leaders, and establishing relationships within the community.


Sponsor a child's education

Having Confidence in your Charity 

Through CARITAS, many people enjoy having a relationship with the child(ren) they are sponsoring, actually seeing and hearing straight from their child about how their gift is making a difference. Letters, pictures, and even video messaging makes this possible. Other people enjoy knowing that their gift is making a tangible difference but prefer to be anonymous in their giving- either way is possible through Caritas for Children. 

So the next time you ask what charity should I donate to?”, please consider a Level 1 charity like Caritas for Children. If you believe, like Maimonides, in transforming impoverished communities into self-sustaining ones, you can donate to Caritas today or find a child to sponsor today.

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Vic Russak is an Albany, NY based content writer specializing in food, nutrition, and Catholic faith topics. Learn more about his work here.