Giving Tuesday: Donate Wisely

Did you know the Tuesday that follows Thanksgiving is National Day of Giving? What a great opportunity to donate to your favorite charity. However, if you choose to make a monetary donation, it is important to know about the charitable organization you’re donating to and how much money is actually being put towards the cause.

How is my contribution divided?

When money is donated to a charity, the contribution is typically divided into three categories: program services, administrative, and fundraising expenses.

  • Program expenses are directly used to carry out the charity’s mission, including planning events, purchasing supplies, covering transportation needs, etc.
  • Administrative expenses cover salaries for management and the organization’s employees, i.e. anyone in human resources, marketing, the founder, the board, etc.
  • Fundraising expenses are put toward fundraising events and associated costs: marketing materials, donor lists, media communication, venue expenses, raffle prizes, etc.

With that being said, how do you know how much of your donation is going to each category?

Where do I find out more about my charity?

Before donating, you can check to see where your dollars are going. A great resource to utilize when deciding which charity to donate to is Charity Navigator.This site offers tons of information on all things charities. Many of the charity profiles contain the programs that are offered by the organization, historical ratings, and other government information, as well. All of this can be filtered alphabetically or by name, rating, etc. Charity Navigator also provides tips for donating, literature about trending topics in the charity world, and blogs. You may easily donate to your preferred charity directly from the website, too.

Before you donate, you can also check out CharityWatch, GuideStar, and Give Well for more information about your charity.

Giving to a charity can have a great impact, that’s why it is important to do your research before deciding which organization to give to. It’s up to you to educate yourself on how to make your donation dollars stretch as far as possible.

Are you donating this year?

Happy Giving Tuesday!

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