How to donate to a charity

How to donate to a charity

Feeling philanthropic lately? Why not donate to a charity and experience the joy of giving. There are numerous charities in the US that are doing brilliant work for various causes. The first step is to find a cause close to your heart. Every charitable trust in general focus on a particular cause such as a children’s fund, medical aid, helping the veterans, wildlife conservation, providing for homeless and the list goes on. Just a look at the long list would make anyone feel fortunate about themselves and go out to help the needy.

It is understandable that you would be skeptical on whether the money would be used up for the intended purpose. There are definitely those that have more admin costs such as spending on fundraising rather than redirecting the money and effort for the actual cause. Hence, it takes patience to study and identify the best charity organization to donate your hard-earned money to.

Do your research
To aid your quest for knowledge, there are tools provided by Charity Navigator, BBB Wise Giving Alliance or Charity Watch who provide all the necessary resources to choose the best charities you could donate to. They are termed as the charity watchdogs for the apparent reason. They help you dig into the sources of funding for any given charity, how they manage the fund and so on to make an informed decision. The website of Charity Navigator even has a dedicated section to spotlight charities involved when a natural disaster like a tsunami hits. This way you could give generously without a cause for concern because when a disaster happens, you will obviously have no time for research, but just to give.

Based on a combined ranking from the watchdogs, several charitable organizations stand out for their respective causes. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, New York, Animal Welfare Institute, Washington D.C., American Kidney Fund, Rockville and Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, New York are some of them.

Forbes ranked United Way Worldwide, Taskforce for Global Health, Feeding America, Salvation Army and YMCA of the USA among the top five by their financial efficiency while depending largely on private donations. Interestingly, The Street listed the Brother’s Brother Foundation for spending negligible amount on administrative expenses while spending on agricultural, medical and humanitarian efforts in over 140 countries. Matthew 25 follows suit with 0.1% on admin expense while redistributing used goods to those in need. As can be seen, with a little effort, such impressive charities can be easily identified.

Do your part
Exercise caution while writing your cheque. Watch out for phonies with a name closer to a popular charity. Choose to remain anonymous, if you do not wish to be bothered with further donations. Always contact the charity organization directly to make your donation, thereby avoiding any middlemen. Moreover, you may also be able to get tax exemptions on your donations, so keep up the good deed!