Even if the charity you support is a popular one, you wouldn’t want to hear that most of your donation only went toward the salary of the people who called you up and asked for money, or worse, the group’s top officers. Before sending your donation, it pays to learn more about your chosen charity and what they do with your money.
Does the nonprofit stay true to its mission and vision?
You need to believe in your chosen charity’s cause and have a clear idea of how the nonprofit works toward its goals. This means asking what programs they offer, knowing their definition of success, and reviewing the results of their programs thus far.
Can the organization be trusted?
Nonprofits that are all about transparency and accountability see fit to post relevant information–such as the names of the board of directors, their managers, audit documents, and/or annual reports—on their websites.
The good news is you can ask a charity for fund information directly as the law compels nonprofits to provide you this information on demand. You may also want to visit nonprofit monitoring sites like Charity Navigator that post evaluations of nonprofits, along with what criteria you should observe to conduct your own evaluation of a nonprofit’s financial health.