This is a guest post authored by Justin Jones.
The holiday season is here, and you may be looking to pass on some of the good fortune you received in 2012. Even in a tough economy, Americans managed to donate almost $300 billion to charitable causes in 2011, according to Charitynavigator.org. The willingness to give is one thing, but determining which charity to contribute to is the hard part.
With so many causes and organizations, it’s easy to get bogged-down in your effort to help people. Charitynavigator.org is a useful resource in your search, reviewing the claims and and actual efforts of hundreds of charity organizations. As you look to give back this holiday season, consider the following well-rated charities.
This New York charity provides local food support to the city’s 1.7 million people living in poverty, supporting nearly 600 community programs. Charity Navigator rates City Harvest highly for its percentage of donations that goes directly to food provisions. You can donate food at one of City Harvest’s sponsored drives or support the organization financially by mail, phone and online at Cityhavest.org.
While it can be dangerous to donate money online because of scams, .org websites such as City Harvest, typically add a layer of reliability. To protect your financial security, consider a service that monitors your financial activity and raises red flags. Many service providers, such as LifeLock, offer this kind of protection, so do the research to find the best protection for you.
A global operation, the Grameen Foundation empowers the world’s poor, particularly women, through micro-loans for business creation. Instead of providing the fish, these donations act as the rod for impoverished people to sustain themselves. Charity Navigator gives this DC-based organization the highest possible rating for accountability & transparency. http://www.grameenfoundation.org
Stop Hunger Now
It’s tagline clearly states the goal: “Working Together to End World Hunger.” Stop Hunger Now packages low-cost, nutritious meals and distributes them throughout hunger-stricken regions. Along with financial support, volunteers can also make a difference by hosting or participating in a packaging event. So far, Stop Hunger Now has packaged 75,000,000 meals. Donate or get involved at Stophungernow.org.
The Hope Foundation
Currently, one of the fastest growing charities, according to Charity Navigator, The Hope Foundation supports one of the largest cancer-research groups in the United States. Through clinical trials, the foundation aims to find the cure for cancers, including lung, prostate, breast, gynecologic, gastrointestinal and leukemia among others. The foundation received the highest rating, four stars from Charity Navigator, for its financial generosity and transparency.
Providing health care services throughout the world, Globus relief works with governments, corporations, hospitals, clinics and other charities to administer reliable health care wherever it can. Charity Navigator ranked Globus Relief second in its “10 Top-Notch Charities”. Globus accepts financial donations and volunteers. Visit Globusrelief.org for more information on how to support this highly touted organization.