Have you made the decision to make some gifts to causes you care about? Take a few minutes to make sure your dollars are going as far as possible, to make the biggest possible impact with these resources.
Research the Charity
We believe it is important that you give to causes and organizations that align with your values and desires. Gifts should be make with a purpose, not by responding spontaneously to a mailer or Facebook ad.
We recommend starting with Give.org. This site is run by the Better Business Bureau and has a ‘standards for charity accountability’ section in which they will judge a charity on 20 different aspects. The site will give insight into what is spent on a charity’s various programs, fundraising, chief executive compensation and consumer complaints.
Other sites that provide similar analysis include Guidestar, Charity Navigator and Charity Watch.
Faith-based organizations are not required to file Form 990 and therefore may have limited information available on the above sites. The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability has accredited over 2,000 ministries as they seek to enhance trust in the faith-based organizations.
What to Give
If you’re giving a smaller amount, say less than $500, writing a check or swiping the credit card is a good option1. If you’re giving larger amounts, read about Charitable Gift Planning to determine if any of those options fit your situation.
1If you are giving small amounts to many organizations, there may be simpler and more effective options. Consider following the link as if you are giving larger amounts.