Making The Holidays Happen: Do Good By Giving

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Last Tuesday was Giving Tuesday. If you missed it, you were not alone. We know about Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and now to continue in the Christmas spirit we have Giving Tuesday.

Giving Tuesday is a way to encourage consumers to share their wealth. Twenty-five percent of annual giving to charities is done between Thanksgiving and the New Year. This is also the period that much of the fund raising takes place.

There are more than 600,000 public charities all wanting our support. When you decide to support a charity look beyond the razzle-dazzle.

You want to look at the program ratio. That’s the percentage of the charity’s income that goes to administrative costs and fundraising. The smaller that number the more money that goes to doing the work of the charity.

So, when it comes time to write a check to a charity this month be sure the charity is legit. Take the time to check them out. Check the Federal Trade Commission’s website before giving to a charity you know very little about.

There are several good websites for checking out charities: Start with the IRS’ site, and several others are helpful as well,,,

Sadly, scammers know what tugs at our heart strings and often we receive fake e-mails asking for donations. Don’t lead with your heart here, lead with your head. And the e-mails start pouring in after a disaster happens.  If you don't recognize a charity don’t send them money, better to send your dollars to the Red Cross directly.  

I like local charities! Some place where you can volunteer your time and give your money. And you can see what good your money can do.

My money and my time go to a local food pantry, Loaves & Fishes and to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and the MASS General Hospital. Both treated my son when he was sick.

You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m. and 3:55 p.m.

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