Tips for Giving Wisely

December 6, 2018 4:50 pm

With thousands of giving opportunities out there, all vying for our money and time, how do we decide which charities or organizations to support? How do we determine whether or not the group we want to donate to is doing its job and fulfilling its mission? This is especially important now during the month of December, when giving typically increases.

Do your research. It’s important to know more information about charitable organizations than just their name. Consumer Reports suggests checking out these three charity watchdogs, which can help you feel confident that a group you’re donating to deserves your support:

If the watchdogs haven’t evaluated a group you’re considering supporting, you can research it yourself. Check the group’s website for information about its mission, board of directors, and its latest financial reports.

Consumer Reports also offers these tips that you should keep in mind when considering a giving opportunity:

  • Verify tax-exempt status. If you’re not sure whether donations to a particular charity are tax-deductible (don’t assume they are), confirm a group’s tax-exempt status by checking with the group or by going to the IRS website.
  • Give directly. If you’re contacted via phone by a charity you want to support, hang up and give directly instead.
  • Request privacy. If you don’t want to receive requests from other organizations, tell groups you support that you don’t want your name and contact information sold, exchanged, or rented.
  • Be on guard for sound-alikes. Some low-rated charities have names that resemble those of high-rated ones.

Mercy Health would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to live a healthy life by thinking about the giving opportunities available to you that lift up individuals and communities, both locally and afar.

Trinity Health is a Catholic health care organization that is firmly committed to maintaining fidelity to its Catholic identity by closely conforming to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (ERDs).

Consumer Reports and the other organizations linked to in this article are independent sites and have no obligation to provide information that is always congruent with the ERDs. Trinity Health cannot guarantee their content and ask your discretion when using information from these sites.

To make a donation to Mercy Health in Muskegon, click here

To make a donation to Mercy Health in Grand Rapids, click here


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