First, choose a cause that puts your money on a “mission.” rather than giving smaller gifts to many different charities, focus your donations on one or two organizations for a greater impact. To find charities that match your mission, search online. If you’re giving locally, Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts can help.
Also, be sure to look for organizations that spend less on administrative or communication costs, and instead put the bulk of their funds toward the actual cause. You can ask an organization how much of your donation will actually go toward the mission, or you can research it on sites like give.org.
Unfortunately, there are many scammers out there who will try to get you to “give” over the phone or via email, so make sure the charity you’re considering is legitimate.
And remember, a real charity will never insist you provide your bank account information.