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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
  • woman on phone with credit card
    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.
  • couple discussing over computer screen
    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.
  • person counting money
    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.
  • three people at table
    Donate Your IRA Required Minimum Distribution (RMD)
    Learn about the financial benefits of donating your retirement account distributions to your favorite nonprofits.
  • "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.
  • 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.
  • boy holding box of toys
    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.
  • group of volunteers
    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.
  • 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.
  • hand putting money in bucket
    How to Maximize Your Year-End Giving
    Check out Charity Navigator’s guide to making the most of your final donations for this year.
  • Native American community gathering
    How Native Communities Work Together During Crises
    Learn how Tribal Nations banded together to support each other during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • group of children
    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.
  • handing over a check
    5 Key Facts About Political Donations
    Fact #1: You can’t deduct your campaign donations on your taxes.
  • happy children
    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.