Bridging the Opportunity Divide

5 Things to Know Before You Give

December 10, 2014
5 Things to Know Before You Give
Volunteers hand out clothing in Brooklyn, N.Y. Consider volunteering to see for yourself if an organization you are donating to is having an impact. John Moore/Getty Images
How to make sure that your year-end donation has yearlong impact.

There are more than two million nonprofits operating in the United States — roughly one for every 135 Americans. As the season of giving ramps up, how can you feel confident that your dollars will be spent responsibly? “If you find yourself considering a gift to charity that called you on the phone, you’ve already lost most of the battle to do as much good as possible,” writes Elie Hassenfeld, co-founder and co-executive director of GiveWell, an organization that highlights a few of the most effective nonprofits. “If you wait for charities to come to you, you’re just rewarding the ones that are most aggressive — not the ones that do the most good.” Read on to learn how you can avoid donor’s remorse.