My mailbox is typically stuffed with address labels, stickers, calendars and, during the holiday season, greeting cards. Sometimes I find myself rubbing my head and wondering if the money I’ve donated isn’t just being turned into “gifts” from charities to potential givers.
One great tool I’ve found to help me find out is Charity Navigator.
Charity Navigator is a website that researches different aspects of each charity such as program expenses, administrative expenses, fundraising expenses, and fundraising efficiency.
If you already have a place in mind, simply type in the name of the charity in the “Charity Search” field at the top of the page. The rating will appear along with a short description of the charity’s mission.
Also, check out the top ten lists. The 10 Highly-Rated Charities with Low Paid CEOs is especially interesting. The leaders of these organizations not only received good ratings, but were willing to give some of their own money by not making what they are worth. Beyond Borders rating showed 88.6% of its finances went directly into the program. A pie chart, located to the the right of the rating, gives a good visual for how little of their money went towards administrative costs and fundraising efforts.
Using Charity Navigator can help you find out how much of your donation goes towards address labels and paying the company’s CEO. So you can choose the organization the puts your money towards the things that matter to you.