As you are out finishing up your Christmas shopping, take a moment to think about those less fortunate. And as you are trying to decide which scarf to get your favorite aunt, maybe you can go with the $25 one instead of the $50. If you do that with everyone on your list, you could have a size-able donation for a worthy local charity.
However, it can be difficult to decide which or how to donate, especially if you've never done it before. So, how do you choose?
CharityNavigator.org does all the research for you! They are the nations largest evaluator of charities. Their professional analysts have examined tens of thousands of non-profit financial documents. They've used this knowledge to develop an unbiased, objective, numbers-based rating system to assess over 6,000 of America's best-known and some lesser known, but worthy, charities.
Charity Navigator's rating system examines two broad areas of a charity's performance; their Financial Health and their Accountability & Transparency. Their ratings show givers how efficiently they believe a charity will use their support today, how well it has sustained its programs and services over time and their level of commitment to good governance, best practices and openness with information. Soon, they plan to also rate charities’ reporting of their results. They provide these ratings so that charitable givers/social investors can make intelligent giving decisions, and so that the nonprofit sector can improve its performance.
Charity Navigator has several different ways for you to search for a charity to give to. You can search by typing in a specific charity name or by using a keyword, such as cancer or children. They also have an A-Z directory if you just want to browse. You can also check out their Top Ten lists. Lists such as the top 10 Celebrity-Related Charities, Top-Notch Charities and 10 Charities with the Highest Paid CEO's.
Charity Navigator can help you determine how much of your donation will be used to help the people it's intended for. As opposed to how much of your donation will be used towards fundraisers, supplies and how much is used to pay it's employees.
There are so many worthy charities hoping to get your donation. It's up to you to decide which one to give to. Find one that speaks to your heart. Whether you choose a small local charity or a large national one, just remember that giving is a wonderful thing to do all year long...not just at Christmas time.
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