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 accountable and transparent.
4.Check on the charity's results by calling or visiting its website. Use our new Results Reporting methodology as a guideline.
5.Finally, map out a plan and budget for the year (consider setting aside some money for disaster giving), then let the organization(s) 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.