Giving away money to those in need can be a very exciting and fulfilling process. However, it can be difficult to determine what organization to give money to. Here are 5 questions to ask when determining where to give:

Does the organization line up with your core values?
This is one of the most important questions you can ask. For instance, it is important to me that an organization not only fill the immediate need, but that they teach people how to fill the need themselves in the future. As the saying goes, “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.” If it doesn’t line up with your values then why would you ever give money to them?

Do they have a board of directors that holds them accountable?
There are a ton of charities out there and some of them do not have a board of directors. If you have a cause that you really are passionate about, look for an organization that has a board that is holding them accountable to do what they say they are going to do.

How much of the money you give will go to the cause you are supporting?
Believe it or not, some organizations have large administrative fees that can eat away at your donation. There are charities out there where 100% of the money you donate goes to the cause and people work entirely as volunteers. While it is not a deal breaker if they do have administrative fees, just make sure that the fees seem reasonable and that the organization is using the money effectively.

Do you have the money to give?
You may have a huge heart and want to give as much as you can to help others in need. This is great, however, you need to take care of yourself as well. I know people personally that are wired this way, yet they have a bunch of debt and feel like they are going nowhere. You need to develop a Financial Gameplan to determine how much money you have left over at the end of the month and then you know what you have to work with. If you any non-mortgage debt, pay that off first before making large contributions. You should still give while paying off debt, but I would pick a percentage and stick to it. Let’s say you pick 10% to give on a monthly basis. Then throughout the month give keep that dollar amount in mind and only give that amount. When you get out of debt, you will have so much more that you can give, so that is when you can start writing the big checks.

What is the need they are trying to fill and do they do a good job fulfilling it?
Since there are so many non-profits out there, it is important to give to the ones that are really having an impact. If you only have a small amount of money to give, don’t you want it to be used wisely and have an impact? Browse through their website to see testimonies and videos of what the organization is doing. Ask people you know what they have heard about the organization. If they are making strides in the right direction and you feel led to give, then do it.

We are giving away $1,000 in July to worthy causes and we want your help to tell us where you think it should go. You can find out the details by going to the post $1,000 Giveaway!