In our case, the lobby’s been full of packages ready for delivery to the Madison Heights, Mich., Goodfellows, which will pass them on to two families. When you’re dealing with a great local group like the Goodfellows, you know your donation’s going to the right place.
This time of year, we’re all asked to dig a little deeper and help worthy causes. But if you’re asked to support a big national organization, you can’t help but wonder just how much of your money is finding its target.
Luckily, some online websites offer ratings of charities that just may help you make a choice:
“The BBB Wise Giving Alliance Standards for Charity Accountability were developed to assist donors in making sound giving decisions and to foster public confidence in charitable organizations. The standards seek to encourage fair and honest solicitation practices, to promote ethical conduct by charitable organizations and to advance support of philanthropy,” the BBB says.
American Institute of Philanthropy/Charity Watch
“Of the approximately six hundred charities currently rated by CharityWatch, only a select number qualify for our listing of Top-Rated charities based on our rigorous analysis. Groups included on the Top-Rated list generally spend 75% or more of their budgets on programs, spend $25 or less to raise $100 in public support, do not hold excessive assets in reserve, and receive “open-book” status for disclosure of basic financial information and documents to CharityWatch,” the website notes.
“We rate charities by evaluating two broad areas of performance; their Financial Health and their Accountability & Transparency. Our ratings show givers how efficiently we believe a charity will use their support today, how well it has sustained its programs and services over time and their level of commitment to being accountable and transparent,” the online site says.
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