By Claire Thompson
As the year comes to a close, you may want to contribute to a cause you believe in. Nationally, individuals contribute $75 billion dollars between Thanksgiving and the New Year. When you make a donation there is a difference between a great and worthy cause, and a great and worthy organization. You will want to do your homework and make sure your contribution is spent wisely.
I recommend a simple internet search. If the organization has appeared in the paper for any negative reason, you will be able to quickly learn and make an informed decision. Internet web sites like GuideStar or Charity Navigator provide free financial and programmatic information, and whether or not the organization has proper IRS tax-exempt designations. Finally, you can get directly involved by volunteering or talking to others in the organization.
A small bit of homework will help you feel confident that your hard earned dollars are getting put to work in all the right ways.