[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zlx9-giqLPU]

“Charitable giving” is a phrase used frequently towards the end of the year, both during the holiday season as well as at tax time. Giving is an extremely important gesture made by those who have towards those who aren’t as fortunate.

While need is a universal phenomenon, resources are often limited, necessitating that we prioritize where we would like to donate our hard-earned money. So how do we decide who should get our donations? Here are a few tips:

  1. Finding a charity whose mission is your passion. Giving requires sacrifice, but it can also bring great joy, especially if you give to an organization that supports something you are passionate about. Your money is a vehicle for change, so make sure it is going towards something that your heart is aligned with.
  2. Do some research. Find the charity that’s the most efficient at accomplishing your goal. Services such as Charity Navigator, BBB, Guide Star, or Charity Watch will help you dig into the financial details of many charities so that you can make the most informed decision. If you are unable to find a given charity’s financial information, just ask.
  3. Give directly. It’s common sense that getting rid of the middle man almost always saves money. The same goes for charities. Don’t give to an organization indirectly, as this will increase overhead and decrease the amount of money that reaches its final destination. Give directly to the charity of your choice, and watch your money make a highly efficient impact.
  4. Get involved. Giving your time, in addition to your money, makes your contribution intensely personal and brings real value to both the organization you support, as well as to your personal satisfaction.

Bottom line: research who you donate to, and donate wisely. In addition, donate your time as well as your money.