What You Need to Know
Have you wondered whether the charity donation you make is really being used well? That's where a charity rating can help.
It can be disappointing to read about charities that are misusing the money and other donations given to them for the good of other people. The people who should have benefited don't - and donors are concerned about contributing to other organizations. It's frustrating for everyone.
These ratings look at a variety of details about charities to determine how well run they are - and how well your donation is going to be used. Even better, the ratings are easy to find and use plus they identify top charities which are managed the best.
Here's how to make your next charity donation with confidence in the group that gets it.
Why know the charity rating?
There are a couple of reasons to know the rating. Some or all of them may be meaningful to you:
- To give you confidence that you know how your money is being used
- To know, as much as possible, that the charity is running an efficient organization so that it is helping as many people as possible
- To make an informed decisions when you donate to charity. You may find that the same people benefit from several different charities, but one of those charities is run much better than the other. This is similar to the research you do when you go to the store - you want the best value for your money.
- To help ensure that any other donations you make, whether it is time or clothing, is going to good use. Whether you volunteer as a family or the kids are youth volunteers, it helps to feel good about the group you work with.
Knowing the charity rating is really about being an knowledgable consumer. It may seem odd to think of it this way since this is about a charity donation. If you think of giving back is a piece of the overall financial process, it makes sense to apply the same views to it as you do to your other financial decisions. Helping kids understand that is part of their financial education, too.
Getting the charity rating
The time to do research is before you donate to charity. It's just like doing research before making other purchases. Fortunately, if you have made a donation and discover that the charity isn't well-rated, you can redirect future contributions.
These ratings look at how well organizations use the money and goods that are donated and how well it can fulfull its mission into the future. If you want to make sure that your charity donation is actually benefitting the people or cause that you believe in, knowing the rating of the specific group can help you know that your money or goods are doing the most good.
The two rating systems that have large amounts of information and are objective in their rating are Charity Navigator and GuideStar. They both have broad databases but only Charity Navigator offers a rating provided by the organization. The charity rating at GuideStar is provided by reviewers and may not exist for all charities.
If you are looking for general information, either site will work well. If you are wanting an actual rating, go to Charity Navigator first. You can then visit GuideStar to see how it compares. (GuideStar also has additional information for a fee but I'd rather use my money to donate to charity.)
Why not go to one of the sites now and check out your favorite charity? They could be one of the top charities!
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