Where should your holiday charity contributions go?

090924dickens_oliver_twistOne of the tips often offered for those who want to make their holidays more meaningful and less materialistic is

“Donate to a charity”

as a family activity or as a gift in the name of a relative, friend or neighbor.

But Which charity? is often the sticking point. I’d donate, you say, but how do I know the money will be used the way I think it should? How do you know if the dollars will get to the intended recipients, and not get eaten up by fund-raising activities, office and administrative expenses (or even, goodness knows, bribes, payoffs and scams?)

Check a charity you are considering, and even see “the best” on Charity Navigator (also a great source for finding an effective charity; this is their Holiday 2008 list and I’m guessing they’ll come out with a 2009 version soon), Charity Watch‘s Top-Rated Charities, and the Better Business Bureau‘s Wise Giving Alliance.

HowToConsign.com has non-profit Sponsor shops as well!But the best charitable contribution of all could be your local thrift store. The shops are there to help you recycle and save, yes, but they are also there to raise money for their cause. Look for the non-profit shops in your area on HowToConsign.com’s Clickable Directory, where you see the red heart. Cash donations are always welcome.

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