I give tons of money online to various animal rescue organizations. Don't get me wrong...I'm not a rich person...I'm just a sucker for a cute fuzzy face in need.
Thus far, I have been fortunate enough to avoid giving money to an organization that I later find out is not legitimate. That's because I do my homework BEFORE I donate! Just a few extra minutes of your time beforehand to research the organization will pay off when you feel secure knowing your money is going to a good cause. The first thing I do before giving money to an organization that I haven't worked with before is to do a simple Goodsearch search.
Chris at HoundsGood has some other wonderful tips. From HoundsGood:
"Stay away from mass (print) mail and telemarketing. If you feel strongly about the organization, give in another way.
Large charities like the ASPCA and Humane Society of the United States send out mass mailings soliciting donations at various times of the year. The truth is that much of this is sent out by a third party and the charity only gets a small percentage. A telemarketer representing an organization contacted us and when pressed, we found out that the charity was only getting 10% of our donation, so we declined.
Please don’t get me wrong, there are many great organizations that send out mail to remind you or update you as not all of their supporters are tied to a computer. Some have had the fortune to have a benefactor who pays for their mailings or other fundraising that is earmarked clearly. But if you receive a letter with free mailing labels, think twice about sending something in the reply envelope."This great tip is just one of Chris' ten great tips for smart giving. Be sure to check out Houndsgood for the rest of her tips!