How to Find the Best Charities for Donation

When you are searching for the best charities to give your money to, it's a good idea to check into the organization's background and history. While plenty of good charities are out there, you should feel confident that your charity donation is going to a group that will maximize your gift and truly help those in need.

Find The Right Cause
Narrow down the list of charities to the ones that support a cause you are passionate about. Whether that's animal conservation, hunger aid or your church youth group, your charity donation will make you feel good when it has an impact on an area of the world for which you care deeply. When you donate to charity, you can also keep records for a tax deduction.

Charities Are Non-Profit Businesses
Even though a charity is a non-profit business, it is still a business, and how the organization is run will have a lot to do with how much impact it will have. Several charity watchdog programs check out the reputations, practices and legitimacy of a wide range of charities. You're looking for an efficient and well-run charity to support. Stay away from charities branded with low ratings and numerous complaints.

Go Global Or Think Local
While worldwide charities exist that offer help around the globe, don't overlook charitable donations to local groups. It's easy to find the large groups online and on the watchdog lists, but the local homeless shelter, children's group or women's shelter may not have such information. If you are interested in donating locally, you can check with the Better Business Bureau in your area for more info on small charities. The state attorney general's office may also be able to assist you in finding out if there have been any complaints about the organization.

Red Flags
Many scams are disguised as charities, so, when you are investigating a good cause, keep your eyes and ears open to these red flags:

  • Find out what an established charity spends on administration and fundraising; it shouldn't be more than 35 percent. The only exception may be newer charities that are still building up donors and advertising.
  • Learn how many people are on the board of directors for the organization and how much they are compensated.
  • Never give a phone donation where the charity calls you. Instead, call the number on the literature and make the donation that way.
  • Stay away from charities who insist on cash and won't confirm that your charity donation is tax-deductible. 
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