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Making the decision to donate money to a charity can be a complex process; it's a sacrifice that requires commitment and thought. Saving up your hard earned money and giving it to a non-profit organization is a generous gesture that should involve some research.

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There are a few important decisions you need to make when you donate money. After you decide the exact dollar figure you can and will give, you also have to decide which charity you would want to give to, and which specific cause you want to support. This decision is no walk in the park; there are many worthy causes you can contribute to and countless charities that need support.

This important decision needs to be made by a philanthropist.

Yes, you are a philanthropist.

It's crucial that every person making a charitable contribution sees himself or herself as philanthropist, not matter how much or how little that person is giving.

As a donor, you should figure out what kind of cause you want to contribute to, and then spend the time to research which organizations are doing the most meaningful work to combat the specific issue. We talked about that already in our blog Picking a Non-Profit: Three inital questions >> 

In today's day and age, we ask many questions before we buy a home or cast a vote for political leaders. We should all do the same before giving our money to a charitable organization.

To put yourself in the right mindset and to be a philanthropist, you need to be well read and have done some research.

Here are three great online resources to help you access local and international non-profit organizations before you make a donation:

This site profiles countless non-profit organizations, which can be filtered by city and/or specific issues.

The website rates verified charities "according to how much great work they're doing".

This site provides in-depth reports on a myriad of different charitable organizations, as well as information on how to be a savvy donor.

Welcome to the world of philanthropy. We are glad you're here! 

Powering the world to do well by doing good.