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- First, determine what causes are most important to you and be sure to be specific.
- Next, develop a list of charities engaged in that type of work
- Then, using Charity Navigator’s free website, narrow that list to just a few that are financially healthy and ethical.
- Examine the charity’s results by reviewing its website and/or talking with staff. They should be able to tell you more than just the number of activities or people served and speak to the quality and depth of their results (for example, not just whether someone got a job but for how long) as well as their capacity to continue to get these results. This year, Charity Navigator will begin providing this information on each charity we rate.
- 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.