Giving to charity is a great thing to do! Whether it is donating money, in-kind goods or volunteering. Giving has a direct impact on others and even has health benefits for you! There are over one million registered 501(c)(3) charity organizations in the US to donate to. With so many to choose from here are some quick steps to go through to find a charity to donate to.
1. Find a cause that you are passionate about. There are many causes and issue areas that charities are focused on such as education, arts, environment, health, animals, human services and many more. Find something that you really care about and want to get involved with.
2. Find a charity. Once you know which cause you want to support find a charity that is making an impact related to that cause. It could be small local organization working in your city or a large charity working internationally. Smaller local organizations can be easier to get involved with and volunteer but larger organizations often have local chapters as well.
3. Verify a charity’s status. You can verify a charity’s status by doing a little searching on the internet. Most charities have their own websites that you can take a look at and where they will say that they are a tax exempt 501(c)(3) charity. These are tax exempt organizations that have registered with the IRS. You can also take a look at websites such as Charity Navigator and Guidestar that provide charity evaluations and previous financial statements. Organizations that have started recently may have only applied for tax exempt status but should be able to provide you with proof that they have applied.
4. Connect with the charity. Often a charities’ website will list ways to get involved and help which could include information on volunteering, an in-kind donation wishlist or even a direct link to make a financial contribution. Try to connect with someone at the charity organization who can tell you more about their work and how you can get involved.
5. Feel good! You have just donated to a charity organization! By following these steps you can make sure that you are always able to find a charity to donate to and that you feel good about supporting the organization. After you make a donation try to find other ways to stay involved and keep up with the work that the charity is doing.
If you live in the Chicagoland area and have excess goods to donate you can submit your donation on Zealous Good and we’ll help find a charity that is in need of your items. Zealous Good works with over 300 organizations that work in many different issue areas.