Giving to Charity Intelligently

Giving to Charity Intelligently
With the holiday season upon us, many people are feeling especially generous and want to give to others, especially to charities. Unfortunately, there are organizations out there that are not legitimate or do not use their funds well, making your donation a waste of money and effort on your part. Here is a list of tips and suggestions to help you donate your money wisely and to make sure it truly goes to people in need:

1. Before you give to any charity, look them up online. There are many websites dedicated to helping people know which charities are legitimate and which ones are not. Some examples of these websites include charitynavigator.org, charitywatch.org, guidestar.org, and bbb.org/charity (the Better Business Bureau’s website). These websites give information that can help you determine whether you can trust a charity or not. It’s also wise to type the name of a charity into a search engine along with the word “scam” or “complaints” to see the investigating others have done as well.

2. It’s also helpful to do some more in-depth research into the charity of your choice. Ask lots of questions about them. Get their basic information, such as name, address, and phone number. Call them and ask how much of your donation will actually go towards helping the people that the charity is representing. Find out the mission of the charity, check out their personal website, look for anything that feels “off.”

3. If you’re thinking of donating to a specific charity, watch out for signs of charity scams. In charity scams, organizations will often withhold information about themselves or how your money will be used. They’ll employ tactics like trying to make you donate now without giving you time to think about it, ask you to send cash or wire money, offer to send overnight service to collect your donation the next day, offer sweepstakes winnings in exchange for donations, and many other things. Don’t be fooled by their techniques. Real charities won’t try to trick you into giving them money.

Hopefully these tips will help give you some direction when looking to donate to worthy causes this holiday season. As long as you do your research and are wary of charity scams, it’s likely that you’ll make the right decision. Happy giving!


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