Giving Tuesday was founded by the 92nd Street Y four years ago. After all the black and cyber sales, putting a focus on giving is a refreshing concept. It precedes all the fundraising campaigns so it is time to do your homework.
Charity Navigator.org is one of a handful of very serious evaluative groups. Granted, they focus on the big guys. But by looking at the evacuative criteria it will help you make informed decisions about smaller organizations that catch your fancy.
Also check out GuideStar.org. They have a subscribe access and with a fee they will give you the latest documents. However, without the fee there is still an amazing amount of information available for any 501C3 that files with the IRS. It’s a good idea to access a charity’s 990 IRS filing. Learn to read them. Lots of info is contained. Some charity’s websites give a link to their IRS info. That is always a good sign.
If you really want to learn about evaluating charities, take a course. Coursera provides free on-line courses on a vast array of topics. This is one: Professor Arrillaga-Andreessen and the Giving 2.0: The MOOC Course Team. I give it a rave review. Whether you are a “donater” or a ” philanthropist” this moves right along and is engaging and informative and inspiring.
You may know exactly the social issues that move you. Never feel quilty about not being attracted to every cause. Having a little bit of passion pertaining to any specific need is just right. But if you need a little help to finding your caring focus, this is another great Coursera course: How to change the world.
With Giving Tuesday, there are articles galore about evaluating charities. Here’s one from Vox: http://www.vox.com/2015/12/1/9826838/giving-tuesday-holiday-charity. IRemember there are for profit charity evaporators and some are listed in this article. As important as evaluating the charity it is also important to research the researchers. I can not attest to what is recommended in this article but it will widen your horizons a bit more.
It is also important to support your family and friends who are participating in an activity that raises awareness of a cause or raises funds for that cause.Enjoy your where to donate adventure. Learn…and then Give!
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