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Giving TipsTips for Giving This Holiday Season

Charity Navigator offers the following guidelines to ensure your holiday contributions are well-spent.

  • Follow your philanthropic passions
  • Ensure the charity is efficient, ethical and effective
  • Recognize that 100% of your gift cannot go toward the charity's programs
  • Share your intentions and make a commitment
  • Follow your investment

Read the Tips

Giving Facts

  • Contributions are deductible in the year made. Thus, donations charged to a credit card before the end of 2014 count for 2014. This is true even if the credit card bill isn't paid until 2015. Also, checks count for 2014 as long as they are mailed in 2014 and clear, shortly thereafter.
  • Americans give, on average, about 3 percent of their income to charity, a figure that has not budged significantly for decades.
  • More than 30% of annual giving via Network for Good's donation processing system is during December.
  • Charity Navigator's data shows that 7 out of 10 charities we've evaluated spend at least 75% of their budget on the programs and services they exist to provide. And 9 out of 10 spend at least 65%.
  • Five types of charities have reached or surpassed all-time high giving levels since the recession ended in mid-2009. Giving to Education charities was up 8.9% to $52.07 billion. Donations to Human Services charities were up 2.2% to $41.51 billion. Foundations saw an increase of 15.5% to $35.74 billion. Health charities experienced an increase of 6% to $31.86 billion. Charities that focus on the environment / Animals saw an increase of 7.5% to $9.72 billion.

Top 10 List Expanded
Highest and Lowest-Rated Charities by Cause

We offer the following list as a quick reference guide to the highest and lowest-rated charity in each cause that we evaluate. In providing this list, our goal is to help you navigate the crowded charitable marketplace and make intelligent giving decisions.
View the List

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We work hard for you all year long so we hope you'll include us in your year-end giving plans.



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