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.
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.
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.
National Alliance to End Homelessness
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.
Patient Advocate Foundation
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.
The Children's Aid Society
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.
African Wildlife Foundation
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.
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.
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.
Ronald McDonald House
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.
Bread for the World 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.
The Conservation Fund
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.
Tell us: What is your favorite charity? Share in the comments below.
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