How to Evaluate a Charity Before Donating

Before donating to a charity, it is important to check them out. This guide explains how to evaluate a charity before donating.

American citizens donate around $500 billion to charity every year. It is natural (and necessary) for able citizens to want to donate their time and money to worthy organizations.

But you work hard for your money and your time is precious. Plus, there are over one million non-profits in the USA alone. You need to learn how to evaluate a charity to ensure you are supporting a reputable cause.

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Read on to find out how to check out a charity and make sure it is a legitimate cause.

Research Reputable Charity Registers

If you have a charity you would like to donate to, make sure it is on a reputable charity register. These databases keep tabs on organizations that are official and documented.

Here are some registers you can use for charity evaluation:

  • Charity Navigator
  • GuideStar
  • FTC Consumer

If a charity does not feature on any of these databases, that is a big red flag. And, if it does feature, read what the database has to say. Often they will have ratings and a few notes on what they think about the charity.

Charity registers will likely have a list of what they think are the best charities if you need ideas on where to donate

Read the Charity’s Mission Statement

Learning how to evaluate a charity does not only mean making sure it is legitimate. You should ensure the charity aligns with your values too.

For example, some charities are anti-trans rights and anti-abortion. If you are pro-trans rights and pro-abortion, you do not want to donate to these types of charities.

Search the charity on Google and locate their “about” page. They might even have a page titled “mission.” If you read this page and find yourself nodding along, it is likely one of the good charities for you to donate your time or money.

Check Out the Charity’s Executives

As well as checking a charity’s mission statement, you should also research their leadership team. Charities might say they do one thing, but their executives may undermine the charity’s mission.

Find the “team” or a list of chief officers, directors, and trustees on the charity’s website. Locate their names, type them into Google, and click on the “news” tab. You will soon learn of any notable transgressions.

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See How the Charity Spends Donations

Last but not least, research how much the charity spends on their causes. It is understandable to have a small overhead allowance, but it should not be a lot.

Charities should spend no less than 70% of donations on their causes. Plus, if they achieve positive results, they will display dozens of photographs and case studies on their website.

If a charity’s website makes little mention of past successes, that is another red flag.

Now You Know How to Evaluate a Charity

It is important to learn how to evaluate a charity so you can donate your money and time well. By choosing worthy causes, you can maximize the power of your donation so it will help as many people as possible.

Browse our other lifestyle articles for more tips and advice on how to help people!