Monday, December 20, 2010

Charity Navigator

If you are thinking about donating this holiday season, I have a great tip for selecting a worthy organization.

It's true that there are some scams out there and charities that take advantage of people's generosity. Others are just inefficient. Charity Navigator takes out the guesswork so you feel confident your money is being put to good use.

Charity Navigator rates charities from 0 to 4 stars, based upon financial information. It tells you what percentage of donations and the budget goes to fundraising, executive pay, and the mission. It also has articles to help you give wisely and to create a donation strategy, such as Top 10 Best Practices of Savvy Donors and Protecting Yourself From Online Scams.

I always check this site now before I donate. For example, one of my favorite organizations is Heifer Project International. From Charity Navigator, I learned that over 75% of each dollar donated goes to program expenses, 17.7% goes to fundraising, and 6.2% goes to administrative costs. That's pretty good!

Now there's no more danger of not knowing where your money is going, or worse, giving to a charity that spends 87% of donations on fundraising. (Seriously - That ain't right).

Why not sit down and spend a little time poking around to find an organization you are excited to support? You will feel that your heart and your money are in the right place! Take a look and be generous!