Every year we are compelled to donate our time or money to charitable causes. With years of a poor economy in our midst charities have had a tough time raising money. That’s why when we do donate to a charity we should make sure as much of our donation as possible goes to the actual cause itself. Unfortunately for some charities, donations get gobbled up in “administrative costs” and a very low percentage of donations actually go where you intended. According to charity watchdog organizations, you should try to target your giving toward organizations that allocate at minimum 60-70% of donations toward their cause. Luckily there are a few tools at our disposal to help guide our giving.
GuideStar’s mission is “To revolutionize philanthropy and nonprofit practice by providing information that advances transparency, enables users to make better decisions, and encourages charitable giving.” By signing up as a charity you can provide up to date information on your organization and help keep their database up to date. As a consumer, you can signup to research a charity and insure they are in good standing with the IRS. You can also order more advanced reports if you are doing research for planned giving or you want to give on behalf of your company. To learn more about GuideStar please visit their website: www.guidestar.org
Charity Navigator’s mission is “…to guide intelligent giving. By guiding intelligent giving, we aim to advance a more efficient and responsive philanthropic marketplace, in which givers and the charities they support work in tandem to overcome our nation’s and the world’s most persistent challenges.” Charity Navigator uses their methodologies to rate charities on their Financial Health and also Accountability & Transparency. To learn more about Charity Navigator please visit their website: www.charitynavigator.org
Know of any other great resources to help qualify a charity before donating? Please share! If businesses and individuals use these types of tools to insure their donations are being maximized it will benefit everyone involved.