When Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg announced they would be giving away the bulk of their fortune and searching for impactful ways to make a difference, they didn't just startle the super rich. They also pointed to a new focus on making charity effective, just in time for peak giving season.
Nearly one-third of all charitable giving in 2014 took place in December, including 12 percent in the last three days of the year, according to Network for Good, a provider of fundraising software to nonprofits. But that does not mean those donations create a world of good.
"We are taught charity is a warm, fuzzy thing and that as long as our intentions are good we should be applauded. We are not taught to think rigorously about our approach. We are not taught how to succeed at doing good, or even that success is what matters. So we aren't in the habit of making calculated decisions when it comes to doing good," wrote Nick Cooney, director of education at Mercy for Animals and the author of "How to be Great at Doing Good."