How To Vet a Charity Before Donating (Tip Tuesday)
Welcome to Tip Tuesday. A how to series where I give you quick tips to make your life easier. For all Tip Tuesday features, click here.
A new year often brings with it an interest in donating to charities, either for the first time or to new ones entirely. But how do you know a charity is a good one? There’s a quick and easy free resource that can help you out: Charity Navigator.
Charity Navigator rates charities on a star scale of 1 to 4 based on how well they are run, not on what cause they support. They give them an overall score, as well as scores for finances and accountability and transparency. They also tell you exactly where they get their money from and how they spend it, both in charts and in easy to understand visualized graphs. If you register for a free account, you can also see the charity’s tax forms.
If you scroll down to the bottom of the charity’s page, Charity Navigator also tells you similar charities. Do you like this charity’s cause but not their rating? Easily find another one.
What I look for when I select a charity is that it has a 4 star rating and spends a minimum of 75% of its income on programs.
Here’s a quick example of a charity that’s been in the news a lot lately. The ACLU has a 4 star rating on Charity Navigator. They spend 84.5% of their income on programs and 99.5% of their income is from contributions, gifts, and grants.
Thanks for joining me for Tip Tuesday!