Most people have altruistic tendencies, and as an incentive, many tax breaks are available for charitable giving. The problem is, how can you be sure that you money is going to help the cause and not to overheads, or even worse, to line the pockets of those who are not in need? Richard Cayne of Meyer International offers some tips on donating to charities.

Who deserves a donation?

Every so often there is news of malfeasance in the world of charities which can give pause when you want to share your wealth with those in need. How do you know you are doing the right thing?

Choose a cause that you feel strongly about, then do a little research. For example, the American Institute of Philanthropy’s CharityWatch is a watchdog of US and international charities where can see an easy-to-follow evaluation and ranking : . In the UK, the Charities Aid Foundation offers a database of financials so you can see where how an organisation spends donations: .

A simple web search for your charity with the words ‘investigation’ or ‘fraud’ is easy, and you may be surprised with the results. But hopefully not.

You may also want to consider crowd-funding sites like GlobalGiving ( where smaller non-profits or project-specific charities can raise money. You can search for your cause of choice, donate, and often get to track the progress of your money.

Or you may want to look for direct-giving foundations like GiveDirectly. They reach out to people actually in need and give them funds directly, with a due diligence process in place .

In the end, says Richard Cayne, you must do a little research with your donations, as you would with any other financial decision.

But Richard would like to suggest a foundation that Meyer International supports:

To continue this conversation, contact Richard at Meyer International.

About Richard Cayne

Richard Cayne is originally from Montreal, Canada, and currently resides in Bangkok Thailand with his wife Akiko Cayne and their two young children. He runs the Meyer Group of Companies (  Previously, he resided in Tokyo, Japan, for over 15 years, advising high-net worth Japanese families.

Richard has over 19 years of experience creating innovative international tax and wealth management solutions.
He is also currently the CEO of Asia Wealth Group Holdings Limited (, an ISDX (ICAP Securities & Derivatives Exchange, a London-based stock exchange) listed Financial Holdings Company.