It happens every year.

The day after Halloween, as the last few packages of candy corn on the drugstore shelf are marked down to 75% off, holiday ornaments begin taking up adjacent shelf space.  Your favorite retailers begin to post their annual gift guides online.  You can’t help but notice, the holidays and the end of the year are almost here.

This is a great time of year to begin thinking about your holiday and year-end giving.  But the process of choosing which charities to contribute to can be daunting.  Where do you begin?

It is important to research charities before donating to get a sense of how your money will be spent.  Charity watchdogs such as Charity Navigator and GuideStar are terrific resources for beginning your research.  They offer information about a charity’s income, spending, mission and executive salaries.

These articles offer even more helpful tips about what to look for when researching which charity to contribute to:

Before Giving to a Charity (Federal Trade Commission)

How to Choose a Charity Wisely (NY Times)

Tips for Charitable Giving (NBC News)

How to Pick the Charity That’s Right For You (TED Talks)

How to Pick the Right Charity and Maximize Your Donations (lifehacker)

Are You Picking The Best Charity? How to Tell. (BBC)

Charitable Giving Tips for the Holidays (about.com)

5 Step Checklist to Maximizing Year-End Donations (Charity Navigator)

Connect360 helps nonprofit organizations spread their important messages via public service announcements, the web and mobile applications.  To learn more about Connect360’s services, please contact us.