If You’re Giving To Charity, These Are The Ones You’ll Want To Support

Not all charities are created equal, so you'll want to be wise with where you donate your money.

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Holiday season aligns with an uptick in charitable donations, as an estimated third of all charitable donations come in during the last three months of the year.

Donating to a good cause is a great way to spread cheer and help people in need, but if you’re donating money, you’re going to want to make sure it’s being well spent. There are tons of charities out there, and they’re not all created equal. When giving a donation, it’s important to do your research to make sure your money is going to the right place.

When giving to a charity, it’s important to look at what percentage of money is going to its charitable programming compared to what is used for something like fundraising. If you’re not sure how to tell a good charity from another, you’re in luck: The watchdog group CharityWatch has created a grading system that rates charities based on how they spend their money.

For a group to have a satisfactory rating, at least 60 percent of their spending has to go to their charitable programs. Here are the highest-rated charities that you should consider giving to, broken out by category, based on the information from CharityWatch.

1. Animal Welfare

2. Blind & Hearing Impaired

3. Cancer

4. Child Protection & Sponsorship

5. Civil Rights

6. Environment

7. Health

8. International Relief & Development

9. Mental Health & Disabilities

10. Veterans

You can check out how reputable your favorite charity is by searching it on CharityWatch.org. The above charities all received A+ or A ratings, but there are a number of other great charities that received a grade of A- or B+ as well that would be worthy of your donations as well.

Other Great Charities To Support & Which Ones To Avoid

Consumer Reports also recently put together its own vetting system based on data from Charity Watch, Charity Navigator (another leading charity watchdog organization) and the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance. Some of the charities on CR’s list cross over with the top-rated organizations from Charity Watch, and there are some additions as well. CR also features some of the low-rated charities, so it’s definitely worth a look here.

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