Charity begins online
1 April 2005 | 0
According to the old cliché, charity begins at home. Well, that may have once been the case, but increasingly these days, it begins online.
In the past few years, a large number of Irish charities have come to realise that if they want to appeal to a broad number of people, establishing a presence on the Net is a good place to start. Having an online home not only allows charities to raise their profile significantly, it also offers Internet users a chance to find out more information about individual charities, and in some cases, to make a donation via the Internet.
There are a large number of charities working with children and nearly all of them have some kind of Web presence. The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) website (www.ispcc.ie) offers mountains of information for anyone interested in the organisation’s work. As well as outlining the various services the charity offers, such as Childline, the site includes information on events, research, training and how individuals can help the organisation. The website also has a special ‘parents zone’, which has plenty of advice on bringing up children.
As Ireland’s leading independent agency for children and families, you’d expect Barnardo’s to have an informative website and not surprisingly, it does (www.barnardos.ie). The website is packed full of advice on how you can get involved with the charity’s various campaigns. There’s also plenty of information on the services the organisation offers and Internet users can also make online donations via a secure server.
UNICEF Ireland (www.unicef.ie) is one of 37 National Committees from the developed world working to raise money for UNICEF’s overseas programmes. As well as raising funds here in Ireland, the charity also promotes awareness of issues affecting children and works with schools, youth groups, the Irish government, other NGOs and the public. The organisation’s website has an online store where Internet users can buy cards and gifts; individuals can also make charitable contributions via the site. Moreover, Unicef’s website has plenty of information about its various emergency appeals and how the money you donate helps the organisation to make the world a better place for children.
Goal (www.goal.ie) is an international humanitarian organisation dedicated to alleviating suffering among the poorest of the poor in the developing world.
The charity works towards ensuring that the poorest and most vulnerable in our world and those affected by humanitarian crises have access to the fundamental needs and rights of life. Its website includes up-to-date news on the organisation’s various activities around the globe. Closer to home, the website has detailed information on the charity’s schools awareness programme in which volunteers from Goal’s overseas projects visit schools to give talks on general development issues.
Another international organisation that needs little introduction is Concern (www.concern.ie). The charity’s website is easy to use and full of information for those who want to learn more about the work that Concern does. As well as having a news and features section, which carries a large number of reports on issues such as the effects of the recent war in Iraq, the site also offers an informative section on the work it does around the world. Internet users can donate to the charity via the website’s secure server and can also apply online to work with the organisation overseas.
Closer to home
Obviously, there are also a large number of charitable organisations that have a local focus. The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) (www.hospice-foundation.ie) for example, is a charity that provides support and advocacy for the development of hospice care and services in Ireland. The foundation’s website offers general information about the IHF’s activities as well as a comprehensive list of care providers. Additionally, the site includes information on fundraising and details on how individuals can donate to the charity. At present, Internet users can’t donate directly via the charity’s website, however, plans are afoot to introduce online donations in the near future.
Enable Ireland (www.enableireland.ie) is a charity whose role is to work to remove society’s obstacles, together with, and on behalf of, people with physical disabilities. The organisation’s website is rather sparse in design but it does contain a large amount of relevant information. As well as including a news section, the site also includes information on the charity’s policies and services. Additionally, there’s an events section, an online query form and the opportunity to download the organisation’s quarterly newsletter.
The Simon Community (www.simoncommunity.com) is well known for the work it does with homeless people throughout Ireland and the organisation’s website has plenty of information regarding the effects of homelessness on individuals. The site has detailed information concerning the particular approach that the charity takes towards the homeless as well as news and information on how people can volunteer with the Simon Community.