For many, the holidays are a time for giving. Many people shop for friends, family, and sometimes complete strangers, typically nonprofit organizations. There are many charities around today covering a wide variety of recipients, from military to children to animals and more. If you’re considering making a donation this holiday season, here are a few tips to get you started.
Do Your Research
Make sure your donation is going to a qualified organization. Do some research online to learn how the charity is spending its money before you decide where to donate. There are plenty of websites on the internet that rate organizations based on their financial health, as well as their accountability and transparency.
If you enjoy picking out items to donate vs. donating money, there are countless opportunities during the holidays. Most animal shelters and animal rescue groups, for example, operate a great deal on the support they receive. The items required for the animals in their care may vary from location to location, but most will be more than happy to share a list of the things they need. Toy drives are another common way to give actual gifts to children all across America. If you’d like to support our troops, there are organizations that provide an avenue for you to do so. Whether it’s items the troops or their families will appreciate, or a letter or handmade scarf, these charities allow you to send your support and appreciation to our armed service men and women.
For those who prefer to donate money, remember to check out the organization ahead of time, never send cash, and keep a record of your donations. Almost no charity will turn your money away, but you can enjoy peace of mind if you know exactly where your money is going ahead of time. Understanding what percentage of your donation goes to charity, versus how much is kept for “expenses” by the organization can be good to know as well.
Whether you choose to buy items to donate, make handmade goods or donate money, participating in this season of giving is a tradition that’s bound to enrich the holidays for both your recipients and you!