The Christian Science Monitor

It’s a wide world of charity out there. Do you know how to navigate it?

Giving can seem more complicated than ever: The world’s needs are vast, the number of nonprofits keeps rising, and some popular charities turn out to be havens of fraud or abuse. Then there’s technology, which has enabled a proliferation of “donate now” messages. Still, technology has given people new opportunities to make a donation. 

Q: Where should aspiring donors start, in thinking about how to make their charitable dollar do the most good?

People who are asking that question are on the right path, say many experts on nonprofits. To give involves the “heart,” and doing so wisely involves the “head.” Those tendencies figure into two seemingly opposite trends in recent years. First, research has documented that the most effective appeals for money are usually directed straight at people’s emotions, often by focusing attention

Q: How can the choices for giving be narrowed down?Q: What’s the best way to help financially after a natural disaster?Q: How can people avoid being scammed?Q: Are there ways to give even when money is tight?Q: Is charity becoming more democratized, thanks to the internet or other forces?

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