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    Giving 101

    Learn everything you need to know to become a top-notch philanthropist—like deciding when, why, and how to donate to a charity.

    How to Donate Money to a Charity
    • volunteers with supplies
      Why You Should Donate
      Discover the benefits of giving to causes you believe in—and learn how to find charities that maximize the impact of every donation.
    • handmade sign for hurricane relief
      When to Donate
      Time your donations to maximize their impact, and help you reap the tax benefits, too.
    • woman working on budget
      How Much Should You Donate
      Figure out how much to donate to a charity—and how to split your donations between your favorite causes.
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    Creating a Giving Strategy

    Planning ahead can help you make the most of every dollar you give. Use these tips to maximize the tax benefits and help your favorite nonprofit unlock matching funds.

    More to Explore
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      Introduction to Effective Giving
      How to maximize your giving to do as much good as possible.
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      Donate To Select Organizations
      It can be tempting to split your giving budget between many organizations to show your support for the great work they do.
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      Does My Small Donation Really Matter?
      MacKenzie Scott gave millions of dollars to my favorite charity. Does my - much smaller - donation still matter to that organization?
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      Why Give Black?
      Giving to Black-led organizations can help close the giving gap for nonprofits that are led by and helping people of color.
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      Questions to Ask Charities Before Donating
      Make sure you get these essential answers about a nonprofit before you decide to donate.
    • Giving and Taxes
      Easy Ways to Give to Charity
      Discover simple ways to give to the causes you believe in, from set-it-and-forget-it monthly donations to volunteering your time.
    • mother and son putting coin in piggy bank
      Why Did a Charity Send Me Money?
      Answers to common questions that can help you understand why some nonprofits send you money or gifts in solicitation letters and what it means for you as a donor.
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      Evaluating Charities Not Rated by Us
      Charity Navigator has reviewed more than 200,000 charities—but you might find a nonprofit that hasn’t been assessed by us yet. Learn how to do your sleuthing to ensure your money will be well spent.
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      Understanding Charity Compensation
      We may have been asking all the wrong questions about how charities compensate their leaders. Here’s what you need to know.
    • Group of nonprofit professionals
      Types of Nonprofits
      The terms "nonprofit" and "charity" are often used interchangeably. All charities are nonprofits, but not all nonprofits are charities.
    • four people conversing at table
      Join a Giving Community With Giving Circles
      Giving circles are a great way to connect with like-minded philanthropists to amplify your support. Here’s how to find one that fits.
    • "making a better world" on phone screen
      Boost Your Impact With Matching Challenges
      Matching challenges are a great way to maximize your impact. Set up your own to double (or even triple!) the impact of every dollar you give.
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      Donate Your IRA Required Minimum Distribution (RMD)
      Learn about the financial benefits of donating your retirement account distributions to your favorite nonprofits.
    • three people conversing at table
      How to Start Your Own Giving Circle
      Learn how to create your own community of like-minded philanthropists to make great things happen.
    • person holding "Give. Thanks." sign
      Get That “Warm Glow” Through Tribute Donations
      Donating to a favorite charity in honor of a loved one—or in memory of someone who has passed—can be a wonderful gift.
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      Add Giving Tuesday to Your Calendar
      Giving Tuesday is the perfect addition to the holiday season—and a wonderful way to share your generosity.
    • person making peace sign with hand in street
      Turn Negative Emotions into Impactful Giving
      Feeling anxious or angry about what’s happening in the world? See how giving to nonprofits that address an issue you’re passionate about can benefit your emotional health.
    • volunteers working with donations
      Generosity: A Resolution Worth Keeping
      You may not stick with your workout goal, but helping others should be a New Year’s resolution that’s easy to keep.
    • Native American girl kissing older woman
      Giving to Native-Led Nonprofits
      Learn why you may want to direct more of your donations toward charities that support indigenous peoples.
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      How to Maximize Your Year-End Giving
      Check out Charity Navigator’s guide to making the most of your final donations for this year.
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      How Native Communities Work Together During Crises
      Learn how Tribal Nations banded together to support each other during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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      Changing the Way We See Each Other
      Opening yourself up to people from different backgrounds and circumstances can broaden your horizons—and bring help to those who need it most.
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      5 Key Facts About Political Donations
      Fact #1: You can’t deduct your campaign donations on your taxes.
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      Supporting International Charities
      You may be discouraged to learn that Charity Navigator does not rate international charities. Don’t let this be a hindrance. There are ways to give support international charities confidently.