‘Tis the Season for Choosing a Charity Wisely

The holiday season has arrived, and with it comes many exciting traditions. From cutting down Christmas trees to lighting the menorahs, families worldwide are coming together to celebrate being in faith, community, or both. In addition to preparing and participating in holiday festivities, it’s also the time of year to think about giving back to those who may be less fortunate. It’s essential, however, to ask, “how do I choose a charity wisely?” This article will explore tips for making informed charitable giving decisions during the holidays.

Tips for Making Informed Charitable Giving Decisions During the Holidays

  1. Getting clear on your intention. First and foremost, it’s essential to be clear on what your intention is when choosing a charity for your gift. If the sole purpose is to help someone facing a specific challenge, look for non-profits that focus on that mission. If it’s to have a tax write-off, make sure the non-profit you’re interested in donating to offers a tax deduction with your chosen donation.
  2. Knowing your values. It’s also a good idea to have a specific cause in mind that you’d like to support. Ask yourself if there are causes you care most about. You may have volunteered in the past, and the experience meant a great deal to you, or someone in your family has been affected by a disease or disorder, and you’d like to donate to a charity created to raise awareness or find a cure. Take inventory of what issues mean the most and then research which options are available.
  3. Make sure the charity is real. There is much fake information online today. Take the time to make sure the charity has an EIN (employer identification number) and is tax-deductible. Most legitimate charities will offer tax incentives for your donations. Can I contact the charity if need be? It should be easy to access this information on a charity’s website.
  4. Contact the charity. A great idea to learn more about the legitimacy of a charity is to pick up the phone and give them a call. If it’s easy to get a hold of someone and learn about how the charity runs and how they are helping those in need, that’s a great sign. Also, see if they are present on social media. Nowadays, it’s unusual for a charity not to have any presence on social media.
  5. Is there more than one way to donate? Charities should always offer more than one way to give back. If a charity is only looking for a monetary donation, you should see that as a flag, especially if they seem eager to get it from you. You should have the option to donate money and your time or tangible items like clothing, vehicles, appliances, and more.

“How do I choose a charity wisely,” is a worthy question for your gift this season. When researching which charity or non-profit will receive your gift, take your time. Ask family and friends if they have any recommendations of organizations they’ve had positive experiences with recently. ‘Tis the season of celebrating the holidays and choosing a charity wisely!

Contact Us Today

If you’re looking for a non-profit or charity to give back to, consider donating to Vehicles for Change. We’ve been fortunate enough to help over 8,000 low-income households without cars in Baltimore and improve the lives of more than 26,000 individuals by giving them access to better-paying jobs, and a means to support their families. Our charity is also the nation’s most extensive affordable car ownership program. To learn more about our donation process, visit our donation page and take the first step! We are grateful for donors like you that keep our mission flourishing.