How to Decide Which Charities to Help at Christmas Time


Charity is something most human beings think about often. Charities help the homeless, children, senior citizens, families, hospitals and so much more. However, the sheer volume of charities that exist today can make it difficult for someone to determine which ones to support. Below are some ideas for deciding which charities to help at Christmas time.

Step 1

Determine the type of support you are willing to give the chosen charity. In other words, decide whether your support will be strictly monetary, on a volunteer basis or something else. For example, Toys for Tots likes donations of new, unwrapped toys.

Step 2

Decide whether there is a particular age group, if any, that you want to support. For example, many people prefer to help charities that do things to help children. Others want to help senior citizens.

Step 3

Determine if there is a particular ailment, if any, in which you are interested. For example, someone might donate to an AIDS Foundation because a member of his family suffers from the disease.

Step 4

Figure out how much money, time or other items you can afford to donate. A handful of charities prefer not to accept donations under a certain dollar amount. If the amount of money you can afford doesn't reach their goal, then you can eliminate that charity from your list.

Step 5

Commit to making the charitable contribution ongoing or establish it in a onetime shot from the outset. If you do not inform charities at the time of donation that it is a one-time gift, they will put you on a mailing list and barrage you with requests for contributions all year long.

Step 6

Narrow down your charitable choices to three to five options. Then research each one on the Internet to determine how much of your contribution will actually reach the people for which it is intended. Unfortunately, some charities have massive overheads. That means that sometimes as little as 10 percent of your donation goes where you expect it to.

Step 7

Contact your top charity choices to find out exactly what each wants and needs and their level of urgency. For example, if their primary desire is volunteers who can donate at least eight hours a day every week, that might be problem. People who work 40- to 60-hour workweeks might not be able to meet those kinds of needs. Therefore, such a charity could be eliminated from the list. Some charities experience a holiday rush and have a greater need than others. You might want to take that into consideration in making your decision.

Step 8

Decide how many of your top charity choices you want to support. Depending on their identified wants and needs and your bank account, it is possible that you could donate time to one charity and money to another. For example, you might serve Christmas dinner at a local food bank as well as donate money to St. Jude's hospital.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never make charitable promises that you know you cannot keep. That may leave the charity in a worse bind than it was to begin with. Don't forget to keep track of your charitable contributions. They are tax deductible.

Who Can Help

  • Toys for Tots
  • St. Jude's children's hospital
  • March of Dimes
  • Susan G. Komen for the Cure
  • Habitat for Humanity
Keywords: Christmas, charity, Toys, for, Tots

About this Author

A business and education specialist for 30 years, Chantel Alise also owned a management and marketing training company. She has written newsletters and training manuals as well as business articles for Enid News and Eagle's Business Journal. She is principle writer for Beauty Biz. Alsie attended Thomas Nelson Community College (Virginia) and Phillips University (Oklahoma).

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