How to Choose a Charity: The Ins and Outs of Giving Back

how to choose a charity

Donating time and money to a charitable organization can be especially rewarding. At Hawk Mazda, we fully support programs like the Mazda Drive for Good campaign, which seeks to fund almost 50 charitable organizations around the country with nearly $5 million every year. Buying or leasing a new Mazda during the campaign is just one way you can help give back. For more info about charities, read on to see a list on how to choose a charity, from research to evaluation.

To begin with, Guidestar recommends that you sit down and make a list of your values. You may want to consider what is important to you, and if volunteering time, money, or both is the best way for you to give back. Identify your preferences—like the environment, education, animal welfare, etc.—and make a list of local and national charities.

Next, find the charity’s mission. For example, the Mazda Foundation operates under the ideal that all businesses have a responsibility to their communities. The automaker is dedicated to education, the environment, and equal opportunity. See what nonprofits say about themselves in their mission statement or “About Us” page to better understand the organization.

You will also want to check the charity’s legitimacy. The IRS officially recognizes charitable organizations, a list that is available through Guidestar. Many organizations will let you see their letter of determination—an official letter of confirmation that a group is in fact a charitable organization. If companies won’t share information, this should throw up some red flags.

Finally, spread the word. You don’t have to brag about your philanthropy, but instead work to spread information about your charity. Sometimes awareness is the best thing you can do for a certain company, especially if they are small or just starting out.

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