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Top 10 charities that make you feel good about giving

Jessica Padykula is a freelance writer and editor in Toronto, Canada covering a wide range of  topics for several online lifestyle publications. She is a regular contributor for SheKnows, covering travel, style, relationships, health and...

Feeling philanthropic?

Giving to charity seems like an easy enough endeavor – choose a cause you feel passionate about, figure out how much you want to donate and write a check. But how do you know your hard-earned money is getting to the people who actually need it? Rather than give to a charity that spends more on decorating corner offices than the cause they’re supposed to be working for, take a look at our list of organizations that make you feel good about giving.

Vaccine clinic in Africa

Best charities for your philanthropy

All of the charities we've listed have received consistently solid ratings from Charity Navigator, America's largest independent charity evaluator.

1Lange Foundation

www.langefoundation.com

If you love animals, this charity, founded in 1993, could be a good option for your donation dollars. The Lange Foundation works to save stray and impounded dogs and cats and get them ready for new homes. They also strive to have animals spayed and neutered – both stray and those belonging to people who can't afford the surgery.

2National Alliance to End Homelessness

www.endhomelessness.org

Founded in 1983, the National Alliance to End Homelessness is dedicated to a cause we can all get behind – preventing and ending homelessness in America. They provide data and research to policymakers and elected officials in order to educate the public and opinion leaders nationwide on how to make homelessness a thing of the past.

3Patient Advocate Foundation

www.patientadvocate.org

Getting money from insurance companies when you really need it isn't always easy. The Patient Advocate Foundation uses your donations to provide patients with professional case management to help them get the insurance money they need for surgery, treatment or medication.

4The Children's Aid Society

www.childrensaidsociety.org

Unfortunately, not every child grows up with the opportunities everyone deserves. The Children's Aid Society helps ensure as many kids and their families as possible have access to health care, counseling, housing assistance, and sports and academic programs.

5African Wildlife Foundation

www.awf.org

The African Wildlife Foundation has been striving to protect the land and wildlife of Africa for 45 years. Their focus is on ensuring African land is preserved for the animals that need it to survive. They support protected areas and work with local communities to ensure land use minimally impacts the surrounding wildlife.

6Global Links

www.globallinks.org

Global Links was founded in 1989 to distribute unused medical supplies and surplus equipment and furnishings from the U.S. health-care system to hospitals and clinics in developing countries. They ensure that not only are they delivering much-needed goods, but also that the goods they deliver are in good shape and ready to use by those who need them most.

7MAP International

www.map.org

MAP, or Medical Assistance Program, has made it their goal to help people living in the world's poorest countries. Your donation dollars go towards helping them provide essential medicine, promote community health development, and prevent disease and other health threats.

8Ronald McDonald House

www.rmdh.org

For over 36 years, Ronald McDonald House has helped families with children in need stay together during times of medical crisis, hospitalization or while a child is undergoing treatment. They have 30,000 volunteers and 276 local chapters in 52 countries, all working on behalf of families who need the support.

9Bread for the World Institute

www.bread.org/institute

This organization works tirelessly to influence positive change in the fight against worldwide hunger and poverty. They act on behalf of those without a voice to help raise awareness about the countless people all over the world who don't have access to food or shelter.

10The Conservation Fund

www.conservationfund.org

At their 10-year anniversary they had already saved 1 million acres. Four years later, they had reached 2 million acres. As of July 2010 The Conservation Fund has protected more than 6.5 million acres of valuable land (and in turn, water and wildlife) in the United States.

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