There are many causes in the world that have formed a legal non-profit status for the purpose of collecting charity funds to finance what they have deemed a worthwhile cause. There are many worthwhile charities worth supporting but one should be very careful these days when choosing one to support for unfortunately there are those scammers who only want your money for their own gain. In some cases an organization inspirational friendship stories is just not well-managed or their administrators are paid extravagant salaries and very little of the money collected actually go to the cause they claim to support.
Charitable organizations include disaster relief like the Red Cross but can also include organizations of a religious or educational cause. Any legitimate charitable organization collecting charity funds should be to serve the public interest or the common good. Requirements for the legal operation of a non-profit charitable organization do vary from country to country and anyone wishing to form such an organization should always check the requirements of the country, province and/or state they intend on operating in. Anyone seeking to support any particular organization would be wise to request the public records available and consider what percentage of the money actually goes to the need they claim to support, the reputation of the charity and the donor support base they maintain.
People donate to such causes for many reasons. Most donate because they genuinely believe in the cause they are sponsoring. Some, however, give for the tax break they receive. This varies from country to country but very often the tax break makes it worthwhile to give for this reason alone. And after all, one may reason, that they would rather see the money go to a worthwhile cause rather than into the government coffers. There are some wonderful causes available that are legitimately and genuinely relieving suffering on some level just be wise who you support.