Is your charity wisely-used – or wasted?

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of making a difference by donating to your favorite charity. Many have budgets that are stretched thin by more demands than resources and are grateful for any and all donations.

But how can you tell if your chosen charity is using those donations wisely? According to Charity Navigator, an independent charity evaluator, there are 6 questions you should ask before supporting a charity:

1. Can your charity clearly communicate who they are and what they do?
2. How does your charity define their short-term and long-term goals?
3. Can your charity tell you the progress it has made (or is making) toward its goal?
4. Do your charity’s programs make sense to you?
5. Can you trust your charity?
6. Are you willing to make a long-term commitment to your organization?

Most charities are well-run and honest, but especially in our current economic environment, you should feel 100% comfortable with your chosen charity before you donate. Be certain that your charity is registered as a public charity with documented 501 (c) (3) status. And if donating money isn’t possible at this time, consider making a donation of your time or services.