Last Updated 07/12/2017
Make the most of your charitable donations
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Organdonor.gov offers information about organ donation and allows you to sign up as an organ donor!
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) As the New Year approaches, many of us will clean out the clutter in anticipation of a more organized 2012, but instead of dropping off all that stuff you no longer need at one location, consider donating to charities that are set up to re-purpose specific items.
There's a charity for just about every item, including organizations that, among other things, will deliver your old eyeglasses, office supplies and DVDs to people in need.
But, whether you are donating money or goods, don't get scammed. The scammers are always out there, trying to find another angle, said Joanne Reisser, vice president of development for Charity Navigator, which rates 5,500 of the nation's largest charities on their financial health, accountability and transparency.
People should not be donating reactively; they should be donating proactively,she said.
Giving cash, buying products, donating time
Giving cash is always good, but do your due diligence. Check with the IRS or your state attorney general's website to make sure your donation is going to a legitimate charity. Look for a 501(c)(3) status. And keep in mind that, according to Charity Navigator, the most efficient charities spend at least 75% of their budget on programs and services.
Be wary of websites that say a percentage of profits goes to a specific charity find out the percentage and confirm with the charity.
Avoid phone solicitors. Often, they are for-profit fundraisers and keep as much as 95% of your donation. Also, pay attention to names: Some bogus charities will use a name that is similar to a well-established charity in the hopes of duping the consumer into donating. Just because a website's name ends in ".org" doesn't mean it's a non-profit.
A big area of growth in charitable giving is for people to purchase products that are made by survivors of human trafficking, genocide or domestic violence. Look for programs like Madebysurvivors.com and Saribari.com, where a percentage of the money goes back to the survivors and the program.
A donation of your time is desperately needed by thousands of charities. VolunteerMatch.org will connect you with a charity specializing in a cause close to your heart. They have already connected almost 6 million people to charities that need volunteers.
It' a great way to help others, feel good about yourself and meet new people. I can't think of a better New Year's resolution.
Prepare Home Care Packages for Our Troops!
Armed Forces Day is a day to pay tribute to the brave women and men who serve in the United States’ military. During these times, soldiers and civilians
alike must make sacrifices to help one another. Those at home may find themselves in the situation of wanting to contribute but being unsure how to go about it. To directly s
upport the morale of a loved one in the military, sending a personalized letter can make a huge difference. Supporters who want to go one step further can put together a unique
and individualized care package to help make deployment a little easier.
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