How to Find a Charity that Fits Your Values

How to Find a Charity that Fits Your Values

Most people would agree they enjoy donating money towards a cause they believe in. Anyone who donates trusts that organization to use the money toward their mission. Unfortunately, not every charity handles their donations efficiently. Luckily, there are plenty of resources to go to find out just how nonprofits are spending their money.

Charity Navigator has one the largest databases for charity organizations. A nonprofit itself, they compile data from reports and records from organizations and rate each charity on a four star scale based on financial well-being, accountability, and transparency. Search for a charity and you will find: income statements, expense breakdowns, and even the percentage of the income that goes towards the CEO. The Carnegie Institute of Science and The Children’s Aid Society are two of eight nonprofits currently receiving four star honors for thirteen consecutive years and counting. Their site also has a variety of ‘Top Ten’ charity lists that demonstrate some of the overall best (and worst) charities they have reviewed.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) also provides a source to search nonprofits through the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. While they don’t give any ratings, they do have 20 ‘Standards for Charity Accountability’ which includes board oversight, effectiveness reports, and accurate expense reporting. If a charity meets these and the other 17 standards then they are officially designated as a “BBB Accredited charity.”

If you’re only looking for the best of the best, then Give Well is the place to go. At the end of every year since 2007, they handpick the top three charities that they describe as “evidence-backed, thoroughly-vetted, underfunded organizations.” They easily have the most comprehensive, in-depth records and breakdowns of how the organizations are run. You can’t go wrong by donating to any of the wonderful charities recommended by GiveWell.

What you do with all of these ratings and recommendations is up to you. Don’t hesitate to donate or spread the word. You can always give a helping hand by volunteering at any event near in the local neighborhood.