1.First, determine what causes are most important to you.
2.Next, develop a list of charities engaged in that type of work.
3.Then, using Charity Navigator’s free website, narrow that list to just a few that are financially healthy and have a strong commitment to being accountable and transparent.
4.Check on the charity's results by calling or visiting its website. Make sure it can clearly communicate its goals, challenges and recent accomplishments.
5.Finally, map out a plan and budget for the year and let the organization know your intentions. Knowing your plan helps the charity keep its fundraising expenses at a minimum while focusing on the programs you intended to support in the first place.