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Creative Ways To Give in Very Lean Year

November 20, 2009

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - It's the season of giving, but with paychecks barely covering bills, it takes a little creative thinking for some to figure out ways to squeeze in a charitable contribution out of an already tight budget. That's according to Nevada attorney Beverly Salhanick, who says families might consider holiday events tied to fundraisers or charities.

"You can go to a fundraising event that is designed to be fun and designed to be family oriented; you can use it as a family experience, as well as an opportunity to give."

Many nonprofit groups also need volunteers to help with their fundraising this time of year, says Salhanick. From churches to schools, all sorts of organizations need extra help during the holidays, she says.

"Food banks are stressed and they need additional help, and we always hear about people helping to feed holiday meals to various organizations, whether it's the homeless, veterans, or a community center."

For those who are going to make a financial donation this year, Salhanick suggests checking out one of the free charity rating Web sites, such www.charitynavigator.org.

"Charity Navigator looks at things like executive compensation, the efficiency, the organizational capacity, and what their privacy policies are if you want to give anonymously."

Salhanick recommends making contributions by check, because it allows tracking of contributions. Other Web sites for evaluating charities include www.givewell.net and www.guidestar.org.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NV