Know Where Your Giving Goes

Give to Charity Smartly

By Zak Gregg ’16

The fall and winter holidays are traditionally a time of charitable giving with events, fundraisers, and drives a plenty. When determining where best to spread your holiday cheer, it is important to know where your money is going.

One convenient way is to use Charity Navigator at and search for the charity in question.

Here’s an example: Doctors Without Borders

Charity Navigator gives DWB a 92.87 overall score. The site reports that Sophie Delaunay is the executive director who receives $163,783, which is 0.05% of the total expenses for DWB.

The site gives information on how much DWB makes and spends, how the money is spent, its fundraising expense ratio, and a list of other related charities.

If volunteering is a better option for you than donating, do so in the summer. Although this may seem counterproductive, most people volunteer during the holiday season, leaving charities understaffed during the spring and summer months.

Eleanor Goldberg, writer for the Huffington Post, reported, “Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, charities receive—on average—40 percent of their annual gifts from donors, according to Charity Navigator.”

This means that for nine months most charities are scraping by; thus, our spirit of giving should extend past the New Year.