Wednesday, September 3, 2014

How to Pick the Right Charity and Maximize Your Donations

100+ Women Who Care NRV is currently looking to increase it's donor membership.  As such we've been reaching out to all of our friends, acquaintances, business partners, neighbors, etc.  Only one asked the question - "How do I know this is the right choice?"  But, that got me to thinking that I needed to have an answer to that question.  The best response I can come up with was what I've read on  The post originally appeared on

An important aspect of having well-rounded finances is charity. Giving is generally accepted by many personal finance experts as an essential part of good money management. Your giving should be like other aspects of your financial management where an effort should be made to ensure that you are getting the best value for your dollar.

Maximizing your charity donations can mean more people helped by a cause that you care about. Here are some ways to maximize your donations:

Research Before You Give

In some cases, only 30 or 40 cents of every dollar given to a charity actually goes toward the people it's supposed to help. Administrative costs, and other costs sometimes eat up the donations. Inefficient charities tend to enrich a few executives at the top without doing a lot of good overall.  100+ Women Who Care NRV give 100 per cent of all contributions directly to the local charitable organizations members choose.

Know How Your Charitable Donations Will Be Spent Before You Give

Before you give, research the charities you are considering. Websites like Charity Navigator ( show you how much of your donation actually goes toward the cause (aim for an organization where at least 70% of the money goes to help others). At 100+ Women Who Care NRV we ask that when you nominate a charity and make a presentation, that you include this information about the organization.

Set up Regular Contributions

Rather than giving unpredictably, you can set up regular contributions. Some charities prefer smaller, but regular, donations to erratic larger donations. You can commit to monthly donations, or even set up a charitable trust to operate in a way that provides regular income for the charity. These regular contributions can give the charity something it can rely onand take some of the pressure off in other areas. This allows the charity to better serve those populations that need the help.  With 100+ Women Who Care NRV you are doing just that!  You are establishing a consistent giving routine of quarterly donations!

Go Local

One of the things that I particularly enjoy is going local with my charitable donations. You can really see the effect your donation has in your own community when you give locally. Look for local charities that make a difference right where you live. Smaller, community-based organizations often (but not always) use their resources effectively, and they can have a tremendous impact on the local population.  This is the whole premise of 100+ Women Who Care NRV - to have local donors give back to local organizations!

Get Personally Involved

If you really want to make sure that your charity donations are doing the most good for the dollar, you can become personally involved. Donate your time as well as your money. You can help by volunteering at charitable events, and performing a number of other tasks. Another possibility is that you could be named to a charity's board, and help make the decisions.  At 100+ Women Who Care NRV meetings you may hear about local organizations that need more than money.  If something inspires you, why not take this next step?

In the end giving, whether it be money, time, or both 'only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have.'

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