Being Safe in Holiday Giving: How to Choose a Charity Wisely

How to Choose a Charity Wisely
Makeba Giles

Makeba Giles

Content Creator and Curator at MELISASource
Makeba Giles is an Health, Family, and Lifestyle Blogger. She is also a Midwest Mother of four, and the Founder and Creative Director of MELISASource.com. |

EMAIL: [email protected]
Makeba Giles

The holiday season is almost here, and historically, Americans tend to be more generous and giving to charitable organizations during this time of year. But how many of us really know how our donations are being spent?

Before making any donations this holiday season, it is important to do research to ensure you are choosing wisely. Luckily, there are tools available to help you make informed decisions. Independent evaluators such as Charity Navigator offer charity ratings and in-depth analysis of U.S.-based charities, with criteria including financial management and global reach. You should also understand the cause you are trying to support, and look for charities related to causes that you are passionate about.

Above all, be safe during Holiday giving. Be aware of red flags to look out for when getting direct solicitations. These include:

How to Choose a Charity Wisely

  • How to Choose a Charity WiselyUrgency: You shouldn’t be made to feel rushed into donating – a reputable organization will understand if you need a few days to decide and do some research on the charity in question.
  • Vague Details: Don’t be afraid to ask exactly how your money will be used, and what percentage of cash donations goes to people in need (vs going to payroll or telemarketing). With the worst offending charities, only 2-3% of cash donations actually go to those in need.
  • The Name Game: Many organizations deliberately choose names similar to existing, well respected non-profits in an effort to mislead prospective donors into thinking they’re the same or affiliated.

How to Choose a Charity Wisely

Thomas Tighe, President and CEO of Direct Relief, joined me to share tips on how to choose a charity wisely this Holiday season. Thomas gave valuable insight into charitable giving. Additionally, he offered recommendations on selecting reputable charities in your local area.

How to Choose a Charity Wisely

Take a look at our chat below.

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For more information, visit:  www.directrelief.org. You can also connect with Direct Relief on Twitter.  

How to Choose a Charity Wisely

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Meet Our Guest:

thomastigheThomas Tighe has served as President and CEO of Direct Relief, a nonprofit humanitarian medical organization, since October 2000. From 1995 to 2000, Tighe served as Chief of Staff and Chief Operating Officer of the Peace Corps, overseeing day-to-day operations of the agency’s worldwide programs. A 1982 graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, Tighe received a J.D. in 1985 from the University of California, Hastings College of Law and an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in May 2003. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer teacher in rural Thailand from 1986 to 1988. He was selected for the Aspen Institute’s 2003 class of Henry Crown Fellows, is on the editorial advisory board for Miller-McCune Magazine, is a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy, is an adviser to the Clinton Global Initiative, and is a former member of the Board of Directors of InterAction and Antioch University Santa Barbara.

How to Choose a Charity Wisely

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