Tips for Making Contributions to Charities

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Anyone who makes a donation to a charity or cause wants to make sure it's being used effectively. Unfortunately it's difficult for a charity to keep track of each donation and be able to explain to a donor exactly how their money was used.

Naturally you'd hope your contribution went directly towards food, clothing or other supplies depending on your charity of choice, but sometimes a donation goes straight to someone's salary that helps run the charity. As a financial contributor you have to come to terms with this and just say to yourself you're making a difference regardless of how your money is used.

Some donors choose their charities very carefully. For example, many make an effort to donate to causes that don't have large fundraising campaigns because they feel their money is simply paying for the organization to cover its fundraising expenses. According to the Institute of Philanthropy, about 35 percent of donations received by charities are used to cover operating costs. The rest of the money goes towards the causes they support.

If you wish to donate to a smaller-sized charity that doesn't spend a lot of money on advertising, it might take some looking but they're out there. Searching locally may be the best place to start. In fact, one way to support your local community is to donate to homeless shelters and organizations that help families in distress.

Contribution Tips

One of the best charities to donate to is one that you're already familiar with. Having a good understanding of what an organization is about might give you a better perspective on how your money might be spent. If you have a friend or loved one that works with a non-profit and you don't mind donating to their cause, they should be able to give you some insight on where your money will be used.

If you're having a hard time finding a local charity to donate to you might want to ask your church for advice. They will likely be able to direct you towards several organizations that accept donations.

One thing you want to check before making a contribution to any organization is to make sure they're a registered charity with the Internal Revenue Service. This information can be found through your state's charities bureau. If you make a donation to a charity that isn't registered with the IRS, it can't be used as a tax write-off.

It's important to note that financial contributions aren't the only ways to donate to an organization. Believe it or not your time is quite valuable to a lot of causes and volunteering is a great way to contribute to a charity. Donations such as food, furniture, clothes and other household items are equally important to many organizations. If you're looking to volunteer consider contacting your local food bank to see when they could use some extra hands. Homeless shelters and soup kitchens are other great places to volunteer your time and make a difference at a local level.

About The Author:
For more information on charitable giving you may contact The National Christian Foundation at 11625 Rainwater Drive Suite 500 Alpharetta, GA 30009. Our direct line is 407.252.0100.

Where to Next?

You can find the best free donation sites, or read about Strategic Philanthropy, or learn more about how to volunteer for a charity organisation.

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