As the economy has improved, more of us are giving to charity. That’s great, because there are groups that need support for their work on a wide array of good causes: disease prevention and research, care for military veterans, disaster relief, environmental protection and hunger alleviation, just to name a few.
Charitable giving topped $335 billion in 2013, the fourth straight year of gains, according to the latest research from Giving USA Foundation and its research partner, the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.
The largest source of charitable giving came from individuals, $241 billion from more than nine out of every 10 households. The average household donation was $2,974.
What makes giving gratifying is knowing that our donation has made a difference, which can be a challenge. Watch this video for tips on how to decide where you want to make a contribution, and then read on for more information and examples of charities with reputations for living up to their promises.