Charitable giving is up

Your Money

November 12, 2006|By McClatchy-Tribune

Hats off to you, America - charitable giving is up this year, and Charity Navigator predicts that Americans will contribute at least $100 billion in individual donations to charities during this holiday season.

To help you spend that money wisely, Charity Navigator has created its Holiday Giving Guide for 2006.

Says Sandra Miniutti, a spokeswoman for Charity Navigator, "The key is to do your homework and check up on the charity you're donating to."

Here are a few other things to keep in mind when deciding who gets your dollars:

Arts and cultural charities need your money. These organizations actually experienced substantial declines in giving last year. Consider bringing the numbers back up by donating to the cultural charity of your choice.

Don't forget about Katrina. Americans generously gave more than $4 billion last year to provide relief to Hurricane Katrina victims. Now, think about donating funds to help rebuild the areas ravaged by last year's devastating storm.

Use forethought. No one likes to think about it, but who knows when the next disaster - natural or otherwise - will strike. Think about what disaster relief organizations you would like to support before it happens. That way, you'll be able to give quickly and confidently.

Make a real difference in your community. There are hundreds of community support groups that enable you to help your neighbors who are less fortunate than you are. You can pay a utility bill or cover the groceries for a family.

For more information, visit www.charitynavigator.org.

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