Choosing a Charity for Year End Giving? Be Careful

( – If you want to make some charitable donations during the holiday season, it is always important to know where your money will go and how it will be spent. To make sure that your philanthropic money ends up where you want to and still do good for society, there are some tips that will come in handy.

The first one is to avoid high-pressure tactics, considering that many charities will market some matching gift campaigns that include a deadline that is conveniently fast-approaching. In different interviews, Charity Watch Executive Director Laurie Styron has said that the goal of the tactic is to encourage you to give the money without having time to research whether the charity will use the donation properly. In this scenario, the best move is to step back and think about all the causes you care about and take aim at those charities.

Another tip to follow is to vet the charity, which can be done by consulting websites such as Charity Navigator, Guide Star, or even Charity Watch. Each of these pages will conduct an in-depth analysis into the charities you want and will even rate them to varying degrees, so you can determine which could be the best for you. Also, you can use a tool that the IRS website offers to confirm that any organization is tax-exempt and properly eligible to get tax-deductible contributions.

A great tip you can use not only to protect your money and vet charities but also to do some good is to give the money directly to the nonprofit. This move will allow you to skip those middlemen who raise money on behalf of a charity but are actually collecting it for themselves. About this strategy, Styron has said that even if the middle person is “legitimate,” he or she might take a major processing or administrative fee out of the donation, which is why is safer to donate directly to the charity program you like.

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