Charity Navigator

Because I made a living as a professional do-gooder, people often ask: “What charity should I support?”

I honestly can’t answer that. Your best match will likely differ from mine. After all, do you share my ice cream, dog, beer, or bed-buddy preferences? I sure hope not!

You need to follow your own heart here and then double-check your intuition on CharityNavigator. This unbiased charity rating service will help give you peace of mind about your decision.

Like when that whole ALS Ice Bucket Challenge thing was happening, you could’ve used CN to determine that among the various ALS-related nonprofits, the ALS Therapy Development Institute would be most likely to use your unexpected donation efficiently and effectively…

But, back to the main issue: Where should you direct regular, recurring donations?

*Recurring donations, btw, are MUCH preferred by nonprofits over one-time gifts. A predictable influx of small sums rather than the unexpected lobbing of a larger donation really helps organizations develop strong and efficient services and staffing.

Let’s say, for example, that you’ve decided that your annual charitable giving budget is maxed out at $2,500 (or $250, or whatever…). It actually would be better to establish a $200/mo (or $20/mo) automated online donation delivery system (which would end up giving $2,400 or $240 to your charity of choice and gives you a 10% “savings”) rather than sending them a check for the full 100% at some random time of the year.

If you “feel bad” about that missing 10%, then by all means, feel free to send an extra $100 (or $10) to the organization at the end of the year. But I’m telling you — making a recurring commitment to send support (i.e., $) to your charity-of-choice on a monthly basis is THE BEST way to support their work.

If you’re still flummoxed about which organization(s) should receive your hard-earned dollars and you’d like to follow my heart for some reason, here are the three (3) charities that I think best exemplify the three things that currently motivate this blog:

  • Empowering people around the world (Kiva)
  • Innovative delivery of pro bono legal service (OneJustice) and
  • Cycling & TBI rehabilitation — a double bonus! ย (Ride2Rcovery)

Go. Give. Be generous of spirit and wallet. Karma will reward you.

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