Donating to charity, whether to your religious organization or an independent non-profit, is a great way to give back to your community. Despite the fact that we are biologically wired for giving, studies have shown that when you donate to charity, or volunteer your time, positive physiological reactions result in your brain. Especially as holidays approach, charities will start their outreach to potential donors, and it may become overwhelming to know which charitable program to pick. No matter whether you donate once a year, or once a month, it’s always important to ensure that you are being responsible with your decisions and getting the best value for your donation.
Do Your Research
Not only do you want to donate to an organization that matches your beliefs and values, but you also should be aware of just how your donation will be utilized within the organization. While it’s not unheard of for some charities to utilize a portion of their donations for things such as business expenses, facility bills, etc, they should always disclose exactly how much of your donation reaches the intended party.
A great resource is CharityNavigator, a site that provides objective ratings and reviews of various charities for your peace of mind when giving. You can view individual charities’ Financial Performance Metrics, Accountability & Transparency Performance Metrics, Income Statements, and similar charities.
Avoid Sending Cash
For tax and security purposes, and also to have a receipt of transfer, you should always make your financial donations via check or credit card. Cash is difficult to track, and it would be difficult to prove your specific donation if needed for audit purposes. If a specific charity insists on cash-only donations, that should raise some red flags in your head as to the legitimacy of the organization.
Utilize Companies and Businesses That Donate to Charity
Many companies make charitable giving a large part of their mission. By utilizing the services of these types of businesses, you can passively donate to charity through their initiatives. Most companies will list the charitable organizations they support on their website. Eastex Credit Union is extremely active in their communities by supporting local charities, sponsoring local events, and promoting worthwhile causes. By becoming a member of Eastex, you can indirectly support their community involvement in Evadale, Silsbee, Buna, Kountze, and Kirbyville.