For some, the holiday season is synonymous with charitable giving and showing kindness to your friends, family and even strangers. With that season once again upon us, here are three best practices for charitable giving:

  1. Consider what charity you want to help. Choosing a charity can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Think about what is important to you. Once you’ve identified the type of charity you want to help, you can use GuideStar, a website that provides as much information as possible about IRS-registered charities, to find nonprofits that support the causes that are important to you. You can enter in your location as well to find charities that are close to where you live or work.
  2. Conduct a little research before you donate. Unfortunately, despite the fact that there are numerous charitable organizations, not all of them are as reputable as they may claim. In addition to researching the charity on GuideStar, you can also look up your chosen charity on a website called Charity Navigator to see how the charity spends its money and uses donations.
  3. Consider how you want to give. There are many ways for you to donate. Regardless of how you give or how many charities you donate to, you should keep in mind that there are processing costs associated with every donation that you make.

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