Charity Choices

A Resource for Donors

For Donors

In response to most major disasters, local funders and organizations often create funds to efficiently collect and distribute donor contributions.  For individual donors, finding and supporting these local funds is an effective way to respond to a disaster.

The covid-19 disaster has impacted almost every community, both in the U.S. and around the world.  Here is a list of nearly 900 local funds in the U.S. that have been set up to help respond to the impact of the pandemic in their communities. 

Here is a list of what many international charities are doing to respond to covid-19 in other countries. 

 

For more than 30 years, Charitable Choices' goal has been to help donors make good giving decisions and to help charities, especially smaller charities without large marketing budgets, communicate their work to donors. 

For donors, we provide easy-to-use information that tells you what charities do and answers some of your questions.  Why should I support your charity's work?  How can I be sure you won't waste my donation?  How does your work differ from that of other charities doing similar work?  How will you make a difference over time? 

You can find charities answers to these questions by clicking on All Charities A to Z or any of the other links in the left column. 

We also provide easy-to-understand information about the process of making donations.  How do you decide?  Should you support charities providing direct services to people in need (like food for the hungry) or support charities that try to change the underlying reasons that people go hungry?  How important is a charity's overhead percentage? What's the best way to give? 

We answer questions like these and many more and try to keep donors aware of interesting and useful information about giving.

How to check out a charity

How to decide which charities to support

How to respond to a disaster

How to decide: Don't assume that efficiency equals effectiveness

What about low overhead?

How to read a charity tax form

How much is given?  By Whom? To What?

Should you give through the Combined Federal Campaign?

One question we get constantly is where can I give away...furniture, toys, clothes, cars...the list is long.  In response we've put together a list of charities that receives "in-kind donations" in three cities so far:

Where to give away your stuff in the DC area

Where to give away your stuff in the San Francisco Bay Area 

Where to give away your stuff in Southern California 

Nine Funds set up to help DC-area Charities cope with covid

 

           One of the best ways to respond to disasters is to support funds set up by local organizations, often a community foundation or United Way.  In response to the covid disaster, more than 900 funds have been set up across the country according to Candid, a new organization created through the merger of the Foundation Center and Guidestar. 

How to navigate the Combined Federal Campaign’s new online giving portal

The Combined Federal Campaign underwent major changes last year designed to streamline the government’s charity drive and make giving easier and more efficient.  As with any major change, implementation wasn’t smooth, which hurt many charities.  Overall giving declined sharply, which has made this year’s campaign even more important for charities.

This year's Combined Federal Campaign will introduce many major changes, some of which will slash the cost of running the CFC

This fall’s Combined Federal Campaign (2017) will be run in a completely different way, the biggest change in the federal charity drive in 30 years. These big changes are why this year’s CFC is starting late and will run into January.

For donors, the biggest changes involve ways to cut the CFC’s costs.  The local organizations that used to run the 126 local campaigns (mostly United Ways) will no longer do so.  Instead there will be 37 regions, thus many fewer staff.

Where to Give Away Your Stuff in the DC Area -- List of Charities that Accept Donations

We get many calls asking where things like cars, computers and furniture can be donated. Below is a list of who takes what in the Washington, DC area. Here is a list for the San Francisco Bay AreaHere is a list for Southern California.

We tell you what each charity accepts, where and whether they will pick up. These charities are listed alphabetically by name in this list.

Who Takes What in the DC Area?

This is a list of the DC-area charities that accept donations of various items.  All have met the accountability standards of the Combined Federal Campaign, the federal charity drive.  The list is organized into five broad categories: Vehicles, Household Items, Personal Items, Computers and Office Supplies, and Other Items.