The holidays aren’t just about family dinners, presents, and decorations. Or at least, they don’t have to be. You can easily incorporate gifting to those less fortunate into your holiday traditions.
We all know there are charities galore that claim to give your donations to those in need or spend them on a good cause. But how can you be sure that your money is actually going to the cause and not to the pocketbooks of those running nonprofits? Or worse, fraudulent charities? We’d all like to think that every dime we donate is actually being used to help those in need, but might actually surprised that not all charities are created equal.
You’ll definitely want to do your homework when choosing a charity that speaks to your heart. Luckily, thanks to the internet, you can easily do your research on charities you’d like to donate to and see where the money is actually going.
How to Find Charities to Donate to for the Holidays
Narrow Down Which Cause You Want to Donate To
You can use Charity Navigator to search for charities via keywords. Once you search a certain keyword, you can narrow it down by state, additional categories or ratings.
Once you search for a keyword, a list of charities will come up. Some with ratings, some without. We recommend clicking on those with ratings because it will give you a breakdown on how they spend the donations they receive. Plus each rated charity also gets scores on finances and accountability & transparency.
You can also see each charity’s individual programs, the history of their ratings by year and comments by people who have donated. You might be surprised at what you find!
All in all, this is a great website for narrowing down which charities you’d like to donate to.
Learn How to Find Charities that You Support
Although we’d all like to believe each charity is honorable and actually doing what they claim, unfortunately, there are scam artists that claim to be charities that we need to watch out for. It’s up to the donator to do their due diligence before giving financially. Thanks to the internet, you can easily learn how to find charities in your cause of choice that is reputable.
Aside from Charity Navigator, The Federal Trade Commission has consumer information on finding reputable charities. They give advice on what to look out for and even have a charity checklist make sure your donations are going to actually benefit the cause you want to donate to.
Other Ways to Donate
Of course, gifting to charities isn’t just about monetary donations. Instead of spending all day learning how to find charities you can gift your time by volunteering this holiday season at a local food bank. Keep in mind, these are the two busiest days for volunteers. You can also volunteer your time other days of the year, which actually can end up being even more helpful to local food banks.
You can also use the site, VolunteerMatch, to find local charities to donate your time to instead of money. Just enter the type of cause you’d like to volunteer for or search by location if you’d like to volunteer abroad.
The internet has opened up a whole new world of donating and volunteering. There are tons of opportunities to give and apps/websites that make the process not only more efficient but also make sure that you’re donating your precious time and funds to those that really need it.