How We Choose Our Charities

NipClub relies heavily on suggestions from our members to identify those charities which can best benefit from our support. Here’s how we choose them…

 1 – We only help small, no-kill animal shelters and recognized rescues

Yes, we know that there are many other good causes who need help, but we can only choose 12 charities each year and we therefore have to narrow our focus to the area where we believe that we can do most good. The featured charity for the month is the sole focus of NipClub’s fundraising and awareness-raising efforts, and in fairness to them we regretfully cannot allow the promotion of other charities or causes on the NipClub hashtag or the hashtag chosen for any monthly pawty;

2 – Sadly, we can not help individual cases or charities not vetted and approved by NipClub

We know there are a lot of people facing personal financial emergencies or massive bills for vet care, but NipClub is simply not equipped to support them.

For one thing, there are far too many of them – for another, when you’ve seen in the following paragraphs the procedures we go through to make as certain as we can that your donations go only to where they can do good and neither you nor we fall victim to the scammers, you’ll see that it would simply not be possible for us to carry out the equivalent checks on an individual, let alone establish whose needs are the most urgent.

If you are involved in fundraising for an individual or a charity which doesn’t meet the criteria for help from NipClub, you might want to ask NipClub staff for help in a private capacity. If we can fit an extra fundraiser in most of us are happy to, but our help will not involve using the NipClub name or hashtag;

3 – The charity must be viable and appear to have a future

There are many heart-breaking stories of charities which simply cannot raise the funds to carry on. If that’s just because they’ve hit a temporary bad patch and need a boost from us to tide them over, that’s fine, and exactly what we’re here to do, but sadly our research reveals some charities are badly run, poorly thought-out, hopelessly underfunded, with no financial strategy, lurching from one crisis to another, and permanently on the brink of closing down.

Yes, they sometimes move our researchers to tears of pity and frustration.

And yes, some NipClub staff have helped them – privately.

But no, we aren’t going to put the NipClub name behind them and offer them your money.

We owe it to every NipClub member to do our best to make sure that your donations do some lasting good;

4 – To be accepted as a #NipClub charity, the shelter or rescue MUST have a current 501(3)(1) registration, or its equivalent in its own country if that is not the USA

This is a certificate to show the charity has proved to the tax authorities it is legitimate, and it it’s good enough for the country’s tax authorities it’s good enough for us.

5 – The charity MUST have a website and a social media presence

It doesn’t need to spend a lot of money on a fancy design or a corporate tweeting team – we’d much rather that it didn’t.

These days, though, a charity that doesn’t have at least a basic website to show supporters what it does, and a Facebook and Twitter profile to update them with its progress, is living in the past and just not going anywhere, and we are not about pouring NipClub members’ money down a black hole.

6 – It needs to have a way that we can pay funds raised directly to it – and yes, there are some charities out there that don’t!

The reason why we ask for this is simple – NipClub management and staff have no access whatsoever to the money you donate.

For reasons of both transparency and convenience we ask our donors to give through a trusted facilitator such as You_Caring, or for those donating through a smartphone and unable to use the widget, through the charity’s own PayPal or other collection arrangements.

We do not and will not handle any donation cash ourselves.

That means that our facilitator has to be able to transfer the funds that you’ve donated to the charity – and, as with the requirement for a website and a social media presence, a charity which cannot provide an effective digital way for its supporters to give it money is not going anywhere but down;

7 – It needs NOT to be paying its Chief Executive or other staff a massive salary!

I’m not prepared to put a precise figure on that as circumstances like inflation could change the amount – but not the principle. We all know big-name “charities” who pay their people sums that NipClub-goers only dream of, and we will not be asking you to fund them.

And yes, they have to publish their accounts, so we can, and do, check up on them.

8 – It needs to be housed in cost-effective accommodation

Of course we want to see them giving the very best they can to the animals in their care, but for the reasons given above we don’t fund “charities” with fancy offices in expensive places, either;

9 – The charity must NOT be getting grants from Government, big business sponsorship or other large-scale help

We’re delighted for those who have access to those things, but they don’t need help from NipClub, too; and

10 – It just might take a while

The length of time it takes for an accepted charity to become the NipClub featured charity of the month is unpredictable, and depends on a variety of factors including how quickly we can find the information needed to evaluate it and how many accepted charities are waiting for their turn.

Usually we evaluate the charities in the order the suggestions are received and, allowing for a rotation between cats and dogs and occasional other species, accepted ones are usually scheduled in order of acceptance – though of course it’s always possible that an emergency affecting one if them may change that.

Sometimes we get a lot of applications in a short time, which inevitably makes for a delay, and sometimes we even have to close our applications for a little while till we get through them!

At the time if writing this we are inviting applications, so if you know a charity you think would benefit from NipClub’s help, here’s what to do.

Just tell NipClub the charity’s name and URL, and we will do the rest! 

I’m currently your contact, so just DM (@ShaynaCat on Twitter) or e-mail me (shayna AT nipclub DOT com).

If your charity isn’t chosen, please don’t take it personally!

As you can see from the above, there are a lot of things that can rule a charity out, and there’s no reason why you could be expected to know the charity’s status with regard to most of them. If the application’s unsuccessful that is no reflection on you or on the esteem that NipClub holds you in.

Saying No to a charity application is the most painful duty that I have at NipClub, and I can promise you I always share the disappointment when I have to do it!

So, do you have a charity you’d like to nominate? It only takes a minute, and it just might save the lives of shelter animals…

 

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