It is getting to be that time of year again. Charity Banquet season is upon us. Galas and Dinners and Holiday appeals. Every year there seem to be more and more worthy and deserving causes , how do you know who to give to and who will wisely use the time, talent, and treasure you have to give most effectively ? Money Magazine’s Kara Brandeisky, Sarah Max, Doug Aamoth and Ian Salisbury recently put together a nice list of what you could do if you happened to have an extra thousand dollars , oh say , you know stuffed in the couch cushions? The really great point they happened to include however, was that you could give it to charity. Their best advice also advised that if it might be prudent to check the charity out with one or all of these three watch groups before investing your hard earned, or easily found, cash. Well worth passing on the links are Charity Navigator, Give Well, and GuideStar. In checking out the links for my own favorite charities I found Charity Navigator to be the most complete and useful of the three sites. I have included all three links just to give options.
The most important thing to remember when giving however may not have anything to do with dollars and cents it may just be the Golden rule. Do unto others. Do not give what you would not wish to receive, do not paternalize your giving. Remember as the days get shorter and the nights get longer sometimes the warmth of genuine friendship and love of neighbor and stranger is really what it takes to be truly charitable. In the words of the Great Rabbi Hillel “That which is hateful do not do to your neighbor. This is the whole of the Torah. The rest is commentary, go and study”