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`How Not To Give Foolishly

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    Don't Give to Organizations You Don't Know    
         If you don't know anything about a charity, do some research first before you give. You're less likely to be scammed that way. Check out the charity's website, check out the charity through Charity Navigator or the Better Business Bureau, and ask friends and relatives what they think of the charity. Overall, it will give you a good picture of the cause and weed out the fakes and scam artists. If it's local, you might want to check out the local office or offer to volunteer instead.
  2. Don't Give to Charities that Solicit You First         I don't usually give to charities that solicit me first, unless they are well-known or I have donated in the past.   
  3. When Donating For Disaster Relief; Don't Give Immediately- Wait 6 Months        It's tempting to donate right away in times of major disaster like 9/11 or the earthquake in Haiti, but chances are that most donors will have stopped giving by then and there will be just as much need at that time .   I have donated immediately in the past, but no longer.  Most scam artists will have moved on to something else by this time as well. 
  4.   When Possible,   Give Time instead of Money         Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community without costing a lot of money.  You and the clients and the charity will benefit in many measurable and unmeasurable ways. It's a great way to find out more about a charity and it also has several social benefits.   
  5. Don't Give To An Individual, Unless You Know and Trust Them      Whatever their need is, be homeless or whatever, it is often better to direct the person to a local charity than to give them money personally.    

Some of these ideas came from personal experience, common sense and various blogs and websites. What is your take on this post? Do you have anything to add? If so, please post in the comment box below or tweet me @ccol4him. I'll try to respond ASAP.

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