Are you thinking about making a charitable donation? Congratulations! Donating is one of the most rewarding things to do in the world. In addition to helping make the world a better place and aiding a good cause, you’ll walk away with the wonderful knowledge that you just helped improve our life on Earth. However, you’ll unfortunately need to be realistic in your aid efforts. Here are some tips on how to choose a reputable charity.
Think Outside the Checkbook
Find out what local charities need. Your old blankets can go to animal shelters. You can knit or crochet blankets for soldiers overseas. You can even donate your car to Kars 4 Kids. Don’t be afraid to donate objects, time, or services instead of money.
Don’t be Afraid of the Little Guys
There’s nothing wrong with donating to “big name” charities. These charities are highly regulated and usually have large operating budgets and equally large mission goals. However, don’t be afraid to research local charities that have a hand in your community. Head out to the local charity office and ask to see their Form 990, a form that most recognized charities are required to submit. This will give you a clear, honest view of the charity’s money trail. Look especially hard at what percentage of their donations go to aid efforts — but remember that all charities have some outside expenses.
Remember, every little bit helps! Try to choose one reputable charity and become intimately acquainted with its needs. You can help meet these needs and spread the word in your community. Just make sure to investigate the charity before you commit to helping them.