Before you make a donation... check the charity’s programs to ensure its efforts truly match your philanthropic passions.
There are a lot of misconceptions among donors about the programs and services that their donations fund. For example, a donor might want to help fund a cure for cancer. The donor selects and funds a charity and then is dismayed to find out that the charity’s programs have nothing to do with research for a cure, but are instead focused on advocating for legislation to pay for patient’s care. This common mistake is easily remedied by doing a little bit of research before writing that check. To ensure that the charity’s work is aligned with your philanthropic interests, visit the charity’s website, check its Form 990 or call their office to learn about their primary programs and services.
Again, don't assume you know what the charity does, take the time to truly understand what it does so your precious philanthropic dollars actually go towards the causes you want to fund.