According to philosopher Peter Singer’s concept of “effective altruism”, people should combine empathy and reason to be able to do well directed charity.
He also said that some charitable organisations are more effective than others. Individuals should do research to select an organisation that can create maximum impact with their donation.
Organisations such as the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust present an excellent example of enabling their supporters to give effectively.
The financial audited statements of SKMT are available publicly on its website. This provides donors with relevant information to evaluate the effectiveness of the organisation.
The organisation follows principles of equity, equality, transparency and merit, which further ensures effective utilisation of resources.
There is no discrimination when accepting patients for treatment and quality care is provided regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or geographical location.
The vision of the organisation matches its actions and this is evident by the accreditation from the Joint Commission International for its hospitals located in Lahore and in Peshawar.
Moreover, the patient selection process is designed in a way that carefully balances equitable access and the need to utilise donations in the best possible manner.
In recent times, giving donations has become more convenient than ever before. According to a latest report by the State Bank, the internet banking users increased by 30 percent in the third quarter of the fiscal year 2021 when compared with the same quarter last year. This means that more people can now donate easily and swiftly.
At the same time, it becomes even more important that people use these tools responsibly to maximize impact.
The trend of online transactions has also led to a boom in various online services.
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has further propelled the trend and at the same time, it has brought communities together.
As we approach Eid ul Azha, an example of giving effectively is to choose online Qurbani service by a reliable charitable organisation.
For example, with the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust’s online Qurbani service, donors from anywhere in the world can use the amount of Rs. 10,000 to book a cow-share online and make multi-pronged impact. First, donors can fulfil their religious obligation without having to step outside.
This is especially relevant when the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health, Dr Faisal Sultan, is appealing to the masses to avoid crowding and the guidelines issued by the NCOC also encourage online Qurbani.
Second, overseas Pakistanis can send remittance and support economy in Pakistan. Third, the most needy families would be able to enjoy meat on Eid. Lastly, the proceeds from animal hides would help treatment of indigent cancer patients.
In addition to online payment with credit cards, the revolutionary initiative of the Roshan Digital Account makes booking of Qurbani extremely convenient for overseas Pakistanis.
It allows people to book Qurbani with a range of reputable organisations. Your Rs. 10,000 can create hope and joy for so many people only if you carefully choose the organisation where you are giving.
For people who will be performing the ritual of sacrifice themselves, the SKMT is setting up hide collection camps in major cities of Pakistan where coronavirus SOPs will be followed to facilitate well-wishers who wish to support the fight against cancer.
We should plan our giving carefully on this Eid-ul-Azha and contribute towards maximum positive impact in our society.