It seems like every organization asks for donations this time of year. How do you know which charity to give to? Some tips:

·         The IRS has a list of organizations eligible to receive tax deductible charitable contributions. Go to and make sure the charity is legitimate.

·         How effective is the charity? How much of donations actually end up going directly to the cause? Go to and use the A-Z Directory to locate the charity you are interested in.

·         Select a cause that makes a difference to you. You simply cannot donate to all organizations!

·         Do not be taken in by emotional appeals. Vet the organization first. When you drop money into a bucket of the street, do you know where the money is going?

·         A donation may be tax deductible but you can only use that feature on your income tax return if you itemize your deductions. Most people do not.

Americans are generous with their giving. However there are scams out there! Be generous but give wisely.

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