Want to give? How to pick a nonprofit.

Do you want to get involved with a local nonprofit? There are plenty to choose from in the Victoria area. Whether you want to give money or time, and you’re wondering how you can get involved, here are some tips to help you decide where to focus your resources.

Area of interest

What areas interest you most? Animals, homelessness, environment,  immigration, sports, arts… If you’ve got a particular passion there’s sure to be an organization helping out in that area.


Do you want to get involved locally or farther abroad? A lot of local organizations have a broader scope and work within Canada, North America or internationally. Where do you see a place where you can affect the greatest change?

Ways to give

Will you donate your time or money? What do the organizations need most right now? What do you have the most of to give? Do you wish to give once or on a continual basis?

Questions to ask

Once you’ve narrowed your list down a little, try asking some of these questions. Depending on how much time or money you are considering giving, the answers may help you make up your mind.

1. What services do you provide and for whom? How many people does your organization reach?

2. Describe your organization’s staff and volunteer capacity.

If you’re considering giving money, ask these questions

3. Why did you hire the last 2 people who joined your organization?

4. What are your organization’s current priorities and areas of greatest need?

5. Have you had to downsize for lack of funds? If so, how did you choose what to let go or what other changes to make?

6. Where does your organization source its funding from?

7. How do you show accountability to the community for your services?

If you’ve decided that you want to volunteer your time and you’re not sure where to go next, contact your local Volunteer Canada agency. For our readers in Victoria, visit Volunteer Victoria’s website. You can also visit the Get Involved website – they match organizations and indivduals in Canada who want to make a difference.

If you’re involved with any nonprofit organizations we’d love to hear how you came to work with them. What were your deciding factors?

Leah Baade is the Youth in Philanthropy and Social Media Coordinator at the Victoria Foundation. Please contact her for more information.