I'm going to say from the start, God is passionate about us giving. And not just to the church. There are many people in the world much worse off than those in the circles than we move in around London and the UK, and we have tons of media that tell us about the suffering and poverty across the world, are we moved by it?
Now, surprisingly, this post is not about do you give, I'm not going to ask whether you give or not. What I'm interested in, is if you want to give well. Most of us say: "Well yeah, of course, why wouldn't I want my money put to the best use?" Well quite. But we don't often act like it in our decisions. Often our giving can be impulsive, directed in spontaneous acts when someone shoves a jangling bucket in our faces. Rarely is it possible to make a wise decision in such a quick reactionary response.
So when we are deliberate in our giving, not under compulsion and doing so regularly, we give more wisely. But another way to give more wisely is to think, is this charity using my money as effective as possible? Often for major charities a large chunk of the money we can donate goes on more publicity, and so could be wasted.
However, another option is to shop around with our charitable giving, much in the same way as we seek the best value products when we shop. There are some sites that help with that, such as givingwhatwecan.org, which researches many thousands of charities across a wide spectrum, and has given a shortlist of what the most cost-effective charities are.
The results can be absolutely staggering, giving to one of the cost-effective charities there can be 1000-times more effective than giving to other charities. Check them out, and without doing very much, we increase the measure of our giving, without increasing our outgoings.