Americans are very giving people.  Charity donations appear to be up in the Greater Binghamton area. Thank goodness. National stats from last year show very good news for charities.

According to Charity Navigator:

  • Total giving to charitable organizations was $298.42 billion in 2011 (about 2% of GDP). This is an increase of 4% from 2010.
  • As in previous years, the majority of that giving came from individuals. Specifically, individuals gave $217.79 billion (73%) representing a 3.9% increase over 2010.

Each Christmas I like to "give" to charities of my choice and to help those in need.  But how do you know WHO to give to and if you're like me, you want your hard earned money to help your charity, not line the pockets of the CEO in charge.

One site I urge you to look at is  A visit to this site should be a real eye opener.  There were charities I would always give to and that thanks to this site, I see have way too much money or their CEO makes way too much money.

Charity Navigator rates most charities on a 1 to 4 star system; four stars being the best and one being the worse.  Scores are based on a simple methodology with accountability and transparency playing an important part.

The popular site rates charities in various categories, including:  the 10 most popular, the highest rated, charities with the highest (and lowest) paid CEO's, and the 10 charities in deep financial trouble.

Take my word for it, if you're planning on "giving" your hard earned money this year, check out this site.