Monday, November 29, 2004

Make informed giving decisions, then give til it helps.

'Tis the season to be charitable, but how do you determine which organization to support? We all know the causes that touch us and may have found organizations that we like, but some organizations might meet needs of its clients better than others. Here's some information on how to evaluate charitable organizations, so that your donation of time and talent does the most good.

* The American Institute of Philanthropy ( rates over 500 charities on financial criteria like their fundraising efficiency and operating costs.

* Charity Navigator rates over 3,000 charities on various financial matters.

* The Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance ( rates organizations using financial and nonfinancial standards.

If you can't find your organization in these databases and still need more information, check out which has the tax returns for more than 250,000 nonprofits. You can also ask the organization to see a copy of their annual report, which should contain a qualitative and quantitative list of its accomplishments. If you are interested, be sure to determine how much of your donation is tax-deductible.

With this information, you'll be able to make wise decisions about which organizations you want to support. Remember, don't give 'til it hurts, give 'til it helps.


Anonymous said...

This is a great post from a great blog. I'm compiling a 2004 Web Review for my blog and was wondering if anyone had any good suggestions for philanthropic entries (like a top ten list of people or organizations making a difference in 2004). I'll check back here for replies, or you can contact me on my website. Peace....

More best of:

- J. J. @

Karama said...

Hi JJ,

Thanks for writing! I'm glad you like the post, and especially pleased that you like the blog. The November issus of Organic Style ( - though I can't find the article online) has a list of the top 50 environmental activists. I don't know if that's what you want, but it's all I know of right now. Hope it's helpful.

Please stop by again soon, Karama

Anonymous said...

It's widely known that the folks that have the least economically, tend to give the most. That's been shown again in this year's generosity index. Mississippi and Arkansas, which rank 50th and 47th respectively, in terms of how much they have, rank 1st and 2nd respectively, in terms of how much they give. Makes me proud of Arkansas, and proud of the MidSouth. BTW, Georgia ranked 19th in the index. -- Karama