How to Choose a Charity This Holiday Season

Charitable giving tends to be at its highest during the holiday season. The holidays are known as the season for generosity, and a majority of donations are made during December. This year there is not a shortage of noble causes that need our support. If you are unfamiliar with donating during the holidays, the following tips will help you determine how to best donate your hard earned money on a charity of your choosing.


Find a cause
Are you an animal lover, or want to help rebuild towns destroyed by natural disasters? Regardless of your interests, there is a charity for everyone. Sit down and make a list of the causes you care about the most before sitting down to do extensive research.

 

Ask for recommendations
If you do not have a charity that speaks to you, ask for recommendations from friends and family or your social feeds. Reaching out to people who are experts on specific subjects can also give you different viewpoints that will help you choose a charity.

 

Do your research
It’s always important to research a charity before you write your donation check. The first place to start that research is through the charity’s website. Their About.me or FAQ page should tell you exactly what they do with their donations. It also does not hurt to look into a company’s financials. Reading up on how much of the organization’s funds are used for the actual charity versus what is used for marketing and administrator salaries will help you determine if the charity is a good fit for your donation.

 

Set a budget
Sometimes we tend to be a little too generous during the holiday season. Donating more than you can afford will only hurt your finances and make it a little more difficult to give in the future. Overdoing it now can potentially reduce how much you give overall. Setting a budget can help make sure you can still donate but also make sure you are not over donating.

 

Submit in your donation
Most charities have dedicated links on their sites for you to submit your donation. Donating online can sometimes come with a small processing fee, which should be listed on their site for you to see before you make your donation. You can also donate via mail by sending in checks or money orders. If this is how you plan on donating, make sure you check the charity’s site to determine how to send in your donation.

Remember, every little bit helps, and giving something is better than giving nothing at all. If you are unable to give this holiday season financially, check with local shelters and charities to see what you can do to help out.

Ross Sanner

Ross Sanner is an educational professional who serves as the Director of Institutional Advancement at the Orme School of Arizona. He is also involved in charitable initiatives, and loves exploring the outdoors!

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