Comparison shopping isn't just a key strategy for holiday purchases. If charitable donations are a part of your budget, it pays to do the same due diligence.
"People unfortunately tend to not do much in the way of research," said Daniel Borochoff, president of evaluator site CharityWatch.org. "I would strongly encourage them to, because they can exponentially improve the effectiveness of their giving."
The average household donated $2,974 to charity last year, according to the Giving USA report. Giving often picks up at the end of the year, both from consumers swept up in the holiday spirit and those looking to cut their tax bill.
#GivingTuesday, a movement to create a day of giving in the shopping-heavy week after Thanksgiving, raised $116.7 million last year. And nonprofit rating site Charity Navigator reports more than half of donations made through its site last November and December occurred during the last five days of the calendar year. Almost a quarter came in on New Year's Eve.
"It can't be understated, the tax benefits and how much that motivates people," said Sandra Miniutti, vice president for Charity Navigator.
Here's how to make the most of your donation: