Dave Says

Rental Runaround (August 2016)

Do you think having cancer insurance is a good idea? (July 2015)

Setting up the kid's car insurance (February 2015)

Check cashing for the unbanked (September 2014)

Keep the lifestyle simple (May 2014)

Should she have skin in the game? (September 2013)

Time to pay it off! (September 2013)

Making It Through Medical Leave (July 2013)

Should We Ever Buy A House? (January 2013)

Be Tightfisted Until The Crisis Is Over (January 2013)

Paying the parents (December 2012)

Sallie Mae vs. selling the car (December 2012)

What’s the worst that can happen? (December 2012)

Letting them in on the secret (December 2012)

Not ready to combine finances (November 2012)

What The Law Will Allow (August 2012)

Making The Right Choice (August 2012)

Baby comes first! (August 2012)

Get the brother-in-law out! (August 2012)

Trust Broken After Cosigning (April 2012)

Review The Research (April 2012)

The Investing Makes Her Nervous (April 2012)

Lifestyle Changes (April 2012)

Do I Tithe On An Inheritance (March 2012)

No Credit Score, No Mortgage? (March 2012)

Where Do Toys Fit In The Baby Steps? (March 2012)

Guilt and Cynicism (March 2012)

Where Does Debt Go When Filing Bankruptcy? (December 2011)

Where Does The Donation Go (December 2011)

Ready to Buy (December 2011)

Intensity Hurting The Marriage (December 2011)

Hobby Car? (November 2011)

Not Quite Dearly Departed… (November 2011)

Enough For Retirement? (November 2011)

It’s Just Another Gimmick (November 2011)

Will Paying Early Help? (November 2011)

Bargain Master! (November 2011)

Sisters Should Have Asked! (August 2011)

Buy Now Or Wait? (August 2011)

So, He Knows How To Manage Money? (August 2011)

Girlfriend’s Money Problems (August 2011)

Smaller Down Payment? (August 2011)

Why Can’t She Get Another Job? (August 2011)

Landlord Wants Protection (June 2011)

Prepping Kids For Healthy Habits (June 2011)

Switching To Company Debit Cards (June 2011)

Should I Reduce My Tithe? (June 2011)

Closing The Account (February 2011)

Dishonesty Is Not The Best Policy (February 2011)

Piles of Cash? (February 2011)

New Car In A Bad Situation (February 2011)

Drop Coverage? (November 2010)

Can't Pay For Her Wedding (November 2010)

Does Pride Keep Us In Debt? (November 2010)

Not Time For A Reunion (November 2010)

You're Being Hoodwinked! (November 2010)

Buying Used or New? (November 2010)

Is There A Recommended Vacation Percentage? (July 2010)

Don’t Do it for the Gas Mileage (July 2010)

Investing Strategy for Retirement (April 2010)

Insurance? (April 2010)

Triple Play Investing (February 2010)

How Do I Get Started in Real Estate (February 2010)

Published: December 2011
Where Does The Donation Go  

Dear Dave,

Our financial situation is pretty good now, and my husband and I feel it is time to start giving something back. There are several organizations we’re interested in helping, but how can we know if they’re legitimate and will use our money wisely?

Laura

Dear Laura,

I really appreciate your giving spirit, but the truth is you can never be 100 percent certain about this kind of thing. About the best you can do is put in some serious time researching and digging beneath the surface of various organizations to find some that are a comfortable fit for you.

My wife and I give the majority of our donations to Christian ministries. It’s not unusual for us to take a tour of the place to see what kind of feel we get while we’re there. If they’re secretive or not forthcoming with what we consider to be basic information about how they operate, or if we see signs of opulence or super-luxury, you can bet we’ll be asking lots of questions.

Talk to the leaders and administrators about what they plan to do with the money from your donation. You have a right to know this. I mean, if they’re going to give the money to hurricane victims, you want the victims to get the money, right?

People who work for a charitable organization need to make a decent living just like everyone else. But if they’re ultra-rich, it could be a sign that they’re not being responsible with their donations. Take a look at their administrative costs - what percentage of donations goes directly to the cause - and anything else you feel would help you make the right decision.

Giving is like anything else. It takes time and work to do it responsibly and with excellence!

—Dave

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