Be careful who you donate money to

Due to the fact most people’s time goes either toward work or sleep, it’s rare that one can find time to devote themselves to charitable work.

Since most people can’t directly help the causes they believe in or support, the next best option is to make regular charitable donations in order to allow this work to be done.

Luckily, there are people out there who have full-time jobs working for charitable organizations, administering to those who need help, providing relief during disasters and doing research to fight illnesses.

Being a college student, I don’t give to charity as much as I wish I could. Any money I usually have goes to my local church, where I know the money will be spent feeding the homeless, administering to people and helping keep the church open.

I also don’t hesitate to give more money if there’s a second collection for the Catholic Relief Services, because not only do I support their mission of helping the poor around the world, I also know my money will most likely not be wasted paying for a CEO’s salary.

This is an issue I feel many people don’t consider when giving to charitable organizations. It’s essential to do research into the charity you’re interested in giving to and to have some idea of where your money is going.

Just this month, the Attorney General of Oregon joined the Federal Trade Commission and all 50 states to file a lawsuit against the Children’s Cancer Fund, the Breast Cancer Society, the Cancer Fund of America and Cancer Support Services for taking more than $187 million from donors.

Rather than using contributions to provide patients with medication and support for chemotherapy, these organizations spent money to secure high-paying jobs for friends and family, and spent financial contributions on cars, vacations, college tuition, gym memberships and even dating site memberships. They also hired professional fundraisers who received nearly 85 percent of every donation.

Sadly, these “charities” are not alone when it comes to spending most of their money on fundraising efforts rather than helping people.

Kids Wish Network, Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation, the American Foundation for Disabled Children and the Committee for Missing Children all spend less than 5 percent of donations on direct cash aid, and they are not the only ones.

In my mind, one of the most despicable things you can do is masquerade yourself as an organization that will help others and then turn around and use the funds to line pockets.

I support anyone who has the money to spend toward charitable causes and those who are in need. Giving charitable gifts is one of the best ways to support those who need help, especially if you don’t work for a nonprofit and are unable to volunteer.

With this said, please don’t give blindly to charities so you can receive that warm fuzzy feeling on the inside that you’ve done something good. Donating money is good, but blindly donating money without proper research is like throwing money to the wind and hoping it gets where it needs to go.

There are many resources out there where you can look up charities to see how they rank and how they spend their money. and are great places for this sort of research.

After graduating and finding a steady career, I encourage everyone to be generous with their money and to help out their fellow citizens. However, please make sure the money you give is not used to fund some upper management employee’s Tinder Plus account.