Most people do not put a ton of thought into giving to charity. All it takes to be a philanthropist is to write a check and you’ve done your part – right? Well, not exactly. In order to get the most bang for your buck, you have to start giving smarter. Keep reading for tips on how to make the most impact, no matter how large or small a donation.

Identify what you want to have an impact on

The first step is deciding what you want to have an impact on. Do you want to help students in third world countries go to school or do you want a hand in developing the next vaccine? Both of those areas require different amounts of money to really have a strong impact. Donating money to build a school or provide school supplies will cost much less than researching and testing a new vaccine. Both are extremely important causes, but it all comes down to how much you can donate.

What’s your cashflow?

How much money are you able to give? The amount of money you can invest in a cause all depends on the significance of the impact you will make. Donating a few hundred dollars to vaccine research is only a drop in the bucket. On the other hand, donating a few hundred dollars to make sure a family in poorer area has health insurance makes a huge difference! You can easily save lives without devoting all your money to the cause.

What charities are making a difference?

With so many charities out there, it is hard to discern which ones are doing things the right way and actually making a large impact. There are websites available to you where you can vet many different charities to see of they are actually making a difference. Some of the sites you can check out are, and

Should I give a lot to one or a little to many?

This all depends on your understanding of the cause you are looking to impact. If you are trying to decide the best way to help a cause you care about, it might be best to give to a few and see what one you feel represents your feelings on the issue and is making the largest impact. Once you know more, you can centralize your donations into one organization for a larger sum.

Donating to charity is a very personal decision that people do not take lightly, but they often don’t think about it in terms of how to make the largest impact. The points above should get you thinking about the way you donate and how you can maximize your impact. additionally, if you’ve spent all you can spend, consider donating your time. Quality volunteers can be hard to come by at times and your effort can make all the difference in someone else’s life.