Giving JarDuring the holiday season, it’s easy to become filled with the giving spirit. Before you write that check, drop off that gift or schedule that volunteer day, be sure to take the time to vet the nonprofit of your choosing. We’ve compiled tips on how to find worthy nonprofits to help you make the most of your generosity.

✓ Find an Organization That Supports Your Mission

Take time to think about what causes really matter to you. What issues tug at your heartstrings? Use those feelings and instincts as a guide to narrow down a few deserving nonprofits.

✓ Set Your Standards 

Once you’ve found a couple of charities whose mission aligns with yours, think about criteria that are important to you. Is it important that the nonprofit keeps overhead costs as low as possible and uses the majority of donations to directly further its mission? Do you care less about overhead and more about statistics explaining the direct level of impact the organization makes?

✓ Do Your Homework

Head to websites like to look into the nitty-gritty of the organizations of your choosing. GuideStar offers records from 1.8 million nonprofits. You can even access an organization’s Form 990 (the basic IRS filing document for nonprofits) to assess the charity’s income, spending, mission and executive salaries. Its role is not to act as a charity evaluator, but merely as an unbiased source to find facts.

Charity Navigator, on the other hand, does act as an evaluator. This website rates nonprofits based on a variety of criteria, including whether or not they properly registered as a 501(c)3 (nonprofit entity), length of existence, level of public support
and more.

✓ Look for Red Flags

If you decide to research a charity yourself, take note of red flags. Does the organization withhold information about their programs or finances? Do they use pressure tactics to garner donations?

✓ Decide How You Want to Give

Once you’ve vetted and chosen a nonprofit, decide on what type of giving suits you. Do you want to have a hands-on experience and volunteer time? Do you want to donate physical items? Do you want to make a one-time monetary donation?

No matter what route you take, your efforts will help an organization you believe in do more good and support a cause that matters to you.


Charity Navigator,


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Peloton Cycle - BSASkip the traffic and have the spin class brought to you with the help of Peloton Cycle® indoor bikes. Their sleek and sturdy bikes offer near-silent riding, convenient two-pound dumbbells in the back and an interactive touchscreen. Access a variety of live and on-demand classes and keep track of your ride metrics at home. Take a test ride at the new Peloton showroom in Lenox Square Mall. Starting at $1,995.

Details: 3393 Peachtree Rd. NE., Atlanta;

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Dr. Debra Gray King - Mary Jane Starke


Dr. Debra Gray King

Founder of the Atlanta Center for Cosmetic Dentistry and an accredited fellow with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, King specializes in complex restorative dentistry. In addition to serving patients throughout the metro area, patients routinely travel from afar to seek her services. King has been a featured expert for a variety of national media outlets and lectures nationwide. 

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Dr. Yalif - Marvelous Impressions Photography


Asaf Yalif, MD, Y Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

This renowned plastic surgeon specializes in cosmetic surgery for the face, breast and body. His signature breast procedures include breast augmentation, breast lift, breast reconstruction, breast reduction, breast implant exchange and the popular mommy makeover. 


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Single Atlanta - Sawyer Photography



Single Atlanta

The largest privately owned matchmaking firm in Atlanta and the Southeast, Single Atlanta takes a personalized approach to the matchmaking process, screening and qualifying candidates before you meet them, working with you one-on-one to find matches and following up with feedback, coaching and advice. 

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Sarah Miller - Greg Newington - BSA


Sarah Miller, Dermatology Consultants

A medical aesthetician and laser technician, Miller specializes in medical-grade skin peels, micro-dermabrasion, laser skin resurfacing, photofacials, skin tightening, laser hair removal and other treatments. 

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Dr. Whitaker - Carlos Maldonado


Elizabeth Whitaker, MD, FACS, Atlanta Face & Body Center

This experienced, double board-certified physician has performed thousands of facial procedures, including more than 4,000 facelifts. Her goal is to help patients look their very best—not like someone else—and help them achieve a natural look with the personalized procedures they choose.

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Sawyer Photography - Steve Hightower Hair Salon & Day Spa



Rebecca Crispin, Steve Hightower Hair Salon & Day Spa

An in-demand senior stylist and color specialist, as well as a certified hair extensions artist, Crispin’s work has appeared in magazines throughout metro Atlanta and many of the city’s fashion shows.

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Evie Delaney and Saechelle Bisson (left to right).

Evie Delaney and Saechelle Bisson (left to right).

Evie Delaney, The Nouveau Clinic

Founder of The Nouveau Clinic, this CDT/Paramedical artist has turned her family’s experiences (her mother is a two-time burn survivor and she deals with ongoing scalp hair loss) into a calling to help both women and men look and feel fantastic. Her permanent makeup services include 3D eyebrow restoration, permanent lip color, dark skin care and more.

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Andrew Feinberg - BSA 2016


Andrew Feinberg, MD, Georgia Eye Partners

A board-certified ophthalmologist, Feinberg is trained in all disciplines of comprehensive ophthalmology and specializes in LASIK and other corneal surgery, using the latest technology and medical techniques to provide the best possible experience for patients from all over Georgia. 

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