15 Ways to Ensure Your Donated Dollars Will Make a Difference

Pointers and tools that help you donate your money with passion and confidence.

Midwesthelpathon

Charity Navigator issues stars

Charity Navigator says it rates more than 8,000 groups based on two broad performance areas: financial health, and accountability and transparency. Each charity receives zero (lowest score) to four stars (best-scoring performers).

The group breaks down 10 broadly defined charitable activities: animals; arts, culture and humanities; community development; education; environment; health; human and civil rights; international; research and public policy; and religion. Each category has more narrowly defined causes. It also offers Top 10 lists featuring, for instance, celebrity-related charities, troubled charities, and top-notch charities.

The Midwest Food Bank, which has distributed the equivalent of more than 17.5 million meals since its 2003 beginning, tops Charity Navigator’s Top Notch list, earning a four-star rating for three straight years. Midwest Food Bank serves more than 755 nonprofit organizations through centers in Illinois, Indiana and Georgia.

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