Click and Give

Charities join e-commerce sites online

by Elissa Haney

Tips for Online Giving

  • Look for clearly stated privacy policies on Web sites. Make sure the personal information you provide is secure.
  • Look for fine print and hidden requirements. Most responsible sites will have a "frequently asked questions" page.
  • Take a close look at what information the site discloses about its own practices. A good site will provide easy access to information on how the donation process works, whether or not the site is nonprofit, the percentage of your donation or purchase that will actually go to charity, and whether or not contributions are tax-deductible.
  • Make sure contact information is available on the site, in case you have any questions or problems.

(Source: Nat'l Charities Information Bureau)

Giving Made Easy

Charitable giving is rapidly emerging as one of the Web's most beneficial functions. The satisfaction of helping a good cause is now as easy as logging onto the Internet and filling out a form.

Shopping for a Cause

You can now find sites such as,, or that allow you to "shop" for a charity. Once you have signed up for a membership and chosen where you want your donation sent, the site will send a percentage of your online spending to your selected charity. Members have access to a large number of popular merchants. The only difference is that instead of going to the merchant's site directly, you access it from the so-called "shop-for-a-cause" site.

Do Your Research

BBB Wise Giving Alliance warns that people should learn as much as they can about these sites before using them. They tend to vary in the percentage of purchases donated and in the number and type of charities and retailers that are available. Some keep a portion of the fees paid to them by retailers, while others donate the entire amount. "Shop-for-a-cause" sites and the charities they benefit are not strictly regulated, and their practices have not necessarily been evaluated by an outside organization.

Information Please Almanac links:

If you want to give online or shop through a donation site, try:

The following are the top 10 charities according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Visit their Web sites for more information on donating:

Did you know?
For more than a billion Muslims around the world, Ramadan is a "month of blessing" marked by prayer, fasting, and charity.