During the holidays, many are people are moved to give to charities. During these tough economic times it is harder for people to give and yet there is much greater need. It is important that every dollar you donate makes an impact on the causes your care about.
Whether you are responding to the Thanksgiving or Christmas spirit, the victims of a natural disaster, a financial blessing or a tax break, CharityNavigator.org can help you become a wise donor.
What is Charity Navigator?
Charity Navigator is an independent charity evaluator working “to advance a more efficient and responsive philanthropic marketplace by evaluating the financial health of over 5,300 of America’s largest charities.”
At the Charity Navigator website, CharityNavigator.org, you can research charities by name, topic, state, city, or rating. Charities are rated on a four star system, ranging from 0 to 4 stars. You can check out an unbiased evaluation of a charity that you have given to or one that has contacted you by phone. You can also find out more about charities that are working on causes that are important to you like “Charities Working to Prevent and Cure Breast Cancer.”
One of the great features of Charity Navigator is the Donate Now Through The Network of Good button. Giving on line is convenient for givers and more efficient for the charities as well but many people are understandable hesitant to give on-line due to fear of identify theft through malicious links or look like sites. On Charity Navigator you can look up a charity and give to them safely on line through their link.
Charity Navigator has many helpful articles including:
What To Do When A Charity Calls
Top 10 Best Practices of Savvy Donors
6 Questions To Ask Charities Before Donating
Tips For Older Donors
How To Stop Solicitations By Mail
Protecting Yourself From Online Scams
Tips For Giving In Times Of Crisis
Tax Benefits of Giving
Guide To Donating Your Car
While there are over 5,000 charities rated on Charity Navigator, you may come across some that are not listed. If it is not listed, that doesn’t automatically mean that it is not legit but it should certainly warrant further investigation and they have articles on just how to do that.
CharityNavigator.org kept me from making a charitable giving mistake.
I recently received a phone call from a person who identified herself as a paid fundraiser for the Kid’s Wish Network. She said that the Kid’s Wish Network provided wishes to terminally ill children while they were still well enough to enjoy them. Whose heart wouldn’t go out to this cause? However, regardless of the cause, I needed to know if this charity was well managed. While I still had the caller on the line I went to CharityNavigator.org and learned that Kid’s Wish Network was rated with only 1 out 4 stars.
On the other hand, our family has sponsored a child through World Hope for years and I was pleased to learn at CharityNavigator.org that World Hope has earned a 4 out 4 star rating.
When you are considering giving to charity, let CharityNavigator.org open your eyes before you open your wallet.