Giving Compass' Take:

• Kirsten Elliott shares three ways to give more effectively to support the causes you care about through the ways that you give. 

• Are you following these best practices? What organizations are you planning to support this year? 

• Find out why saying "no" is part of giving effectively

Minimize the Cost of Your Giving
Check to see if the nonprofit you’re supporting offers the option to cover the fees associated with your gift. And if you are making a gift over a couple hundred dollars, please don’t make your gift via a nonprofit’s online donation form.

You should also consider making a gift directly from your bank account.

You could send a check through the mail. But remember, that still has costs to you (a stamp and envelope) and to the cause you support (spending staff time to deposit and record your gift manually).

Maximize Your Giving
The first thing you should do is check with your employer to see if they match employee donations.

Another option is gifting appreciated stock if you’ve received stock options from your employer or invested independently. The benefit here is that when you donate appreciated stock that you’ve held longer than one year directly to a nonprofit, you avoid the capital gains tax. That effectively means you’re able to donate as much as 20% more to a nonprofit than if you’d sold the stock and given them the cash.

Give For the Right Reasons
Finally, I have to make a pitch about the most important thing you can consider when making effective gifts to nonprofits this holiday season. Give for the right reasons—that you care about something, and you trust the experts to do the most good they can with your money.

Read the full article about ways to give more effectively by Kirsten Elliott at The Center for Election Science.