Give smart

Christmas Carol
“At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge,” said the gentleman, taking up a pen, “it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and Destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time.” A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens (image source)


‘Tis the season to be asked for money, and it’s also the season we give the most. According to a report on charitable giving, Americans give more than twice as much in December than any other month, and more than 20 percent of online giving happens in December.  Every day, more technologies are developed to help charities solicit donations and make it easier for people to give.

But. (And there’s always a but) Anytime there’s money and people willing to part with it, there are unscrupulous people ready to help you part with it for their own selfish gain. In my Washington Times Communities piece, I look at wise giving and analyzing charities.
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Charity Navigator (who I interviewed for the article), The Better Business Bureau, and ECFA for Christian ministries are a few organizations that help donors find out if a charity is worthy of their money. But smaller or newer charities — who are just as worthy of our donations in my opinion — won’t necessarily have their information on file with these groups, so there is also information posted about doing your own research.

I look at some new technologies for giving, but one interesting bit of advice from Charity Navigator was about old technology: the telephone. They advise not giving over the phone for a number of reasons. And don’t give through links posted on social media. Always go to the website directly, and make sure it’s not a similar sounding name but different organization.

It is better to give than receive, but giving to crooks or incompetents is aggravating. Do your homework, read my article at Between Errands, and give cheerfully.

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