Solicitations for money seem to be increasing.

Are you bombarded through the mail, email, or your phone to Give?  Most of the solicitations sound like good causes, but some are ridiculous.  Do you really believe someone in Nigeria needs your help getting an inheritance out of Nigeria and will split it with you if you will just tell him your bank account number so he can deposit his newly found fortune in your account?

Or, do you believe you have won a contest you never entered, but you have to pay a fee to collect?

How do you know the fine sounding group that is asking you for a donation to "help" children, wounded vets, policemen, firemen, or any number of noble causes---how do you know that group exists?  Maybe it exists, but how much of the money it collects actually goes to the "cause?"  How much goes to the salary of the CEO or to more fund raising?  

Just because they send you something you don't need and did not ask for, doesn't mean you have to write a check.    

There are many worthy causes in your own community that can use your help.  And you likely know who runs the charity and who they help.  Think local charity so you can check it out.

There are some national and international causes that do valuable work.  But before you give, check them out on  I was educated and disappointed by checking out some well known charities when I read how much they pay their CEO and what percentage of gifts actually goes to the stated cause.  Information helps make wise decisions.