FAQs About Donating to Charities and Nonprofits
How Do I Find a Good Charity to Donate to?
When you donate to charity, you want to make sure your money actually makes an impact on the cause you’re supporting. You also want to avoid donating to a fake charity scam.
One of the best ways to find a charity is to search online for accredited charities and for the best charities to donate to. Aggregate sites like Yelp will often compile lists of top charities in your area. You might also find a good charity in connection with a reputable Tennessee business.
When looking at charities to donate to, make sure you take a deep look at their website. Examine their tax-exempt status to make sure any charitable contributions you might make will qualify for a tax deduction. Also, carefully read their mission statement and find out what kind of programs they support.
Finally, you should also search Charity Navigator, CharityWatch, Charities.org, and the IRS website to confirm a charity’s tax status.
Is Giving to Charity a Waste of Money?
It depends on how you define a waste of your money. If you value getting help to people in need, you might not want to contribute to a charity with a lot of program costs.
Charities need to spend money for administrative and advertising purposes, otherwise, they stop getting donations. Typically, you’ll see organizations advertise that 100% of your donations go to program costs, and those costs include payroll, advertising, and overhead costs.
If you want to help people more directly, local charities can have a more direct impact on individuals in need. But, if you want to be a part of a big movement, a large international charity might be what you’re looking for. Just be aware that large organizations will have more internal costs to cover.
How Do Businesses Choose Who to Donate to?
It depends on your business. A large corporate retail business like Target uses their Target Circle customer rewards program to vote on which charities they select. If your business can’t support that type of customer interaction, that’s ok too. The leadership of your company may have a strong relationship with a local non-profit or charity.
Alternatively, if you aren’t sure what kind of charity or cause you want your business to support, try polling your employees for ideas. If your employees want to support several causes, you could turn it into an annual vote to determine which charities your company donates to.
Finally, you should also be aware of the connections and publicity associated with the organizations you support, to make sure you don’t lose out on your bottom line.