How to Choose a Charity

I would be hard-pressed to find somebody who didn’t want to help out and give back.  However,  picking just one charity to volunteer with or donate to can be a challenge.  There are so many different deserving organizations.  The list can feel overwhelming.  It’s almost enough to make a person want to give up.  But don’t!

Here are some suggestions to help you out.  First, know that you don’t need to be rich.  You can donate a small amount or just give of your time through volunteerism.  Many non-profits do not have the means to hire a large staff.  They always have a need for people willing to lend a hand.

Volunteering time is just as valuable, if not more, than giving money. Image:

Volunteering time is just as valuable, if not more, than giving money.

According to a article, is a good way to start.  They charge $40 per year for a membership, and they offer up extensive information on thousands of American charities.  Forbes also mentions Charity Navigator, a free website with information on over 5,000 U.S. charities.  However, you can also do your own research.

Think about issues that are important to you.  What stands out in your mind?  Do you have a love of animals?  Do you think homelessness and poverty are the most pressing issues?  Thinking about that is a great way to start to focus your research.

One thing to keep in mind is to double-check to make sure the organization is legitimate. This is where sites like Charity Navigator really come in handy.  Be wary of people who call you on the phone and ask for money or personal information.  These people are experts on making up real-sounding names and information.  Don’t allow yourself to be pressured into giving money.  When in doubt, call the Better Business Bureau and ask.


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