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The Globe’s Point – Think before you give, but give

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For some reason, the inevitable holidays that close out the end of every year inspire the masses to be pretty generous, even for college students. We’re not exactly sure why, but something about the holidays of the fall and winter months cause people to feel particularly open-handed.

There’s a small possibility that tax deductions may come into play — considering donors have to make their contributions by Dec. 31 if they want to get that subtraction. We like to think maybe it’s the lavish spirits of the holidays that encourage you to give, but there’s a pretty big possibility that it has something to do with the tax deductions.

Whether or not giving is something you choose to invest time in, chances are you’re going to be bombarded by a lot of charities this season, so get smart.

While we think you should be considering giving to charities all year round, if the tenderness of the holidays is moving you towards generosity, you should make an effort to make sure you’re investing in a charity that is trustworthy and successful.

There are ways to examine the charities you might be giving to this season. Firstly, see if the mission behind the charity actually matches something you feel compassion for. It would be pretty futile to drop your pocket change into a red bucket outside of Goodwill if you don’t believe in the passion of the Salvation Army.

Something else you should consider is whether or not this charity is fiscally responsible, effective and ethical. A good way to examine this is to see if they have an open-book mindset. The more transparent and accountable a charity is, the better. It also might be proactive to see if the charity is relatively financially healthy. The more sustainable and organized the charity, the more freedom they have to actually pursue the mission they say your money is going towards.

Lastly, if you can, take time to see if the leadership behind the organization is dynamic and trustworthy. Charities that have large turnover rates are signs of struggling charity.

This season, give freely, and consider giving all year. Do it well, and do it with brains.

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