The worst way to donate to a charity is to give to a charity in a way that very little of your funds actually reach the charity or it is in fact not the charity that you would want to support.

Avoid giving to telemarketers from a charity that you don’t have an existing relationship with. In some cases the telemarketers may be taking 90% or more of the money. If you have an existing relationship with your church, university, hospital – that is fine but if you have not had an affiliation with the charity before expect that little of your funds will go to the charity if they are paid telemarketers.

Also realize that certain types of high fundraising cost events, in some cases such as gala dinners, may be fun and interesting but they are often not a good way to donate to charity. You are essentially paying for an event and in some cases little of the money is left over for the charity and its mission. There are many good things about special events – but translating your dollars into money for the charity to use for its mission is sometimes not one of them. Now it may be true that some people would only give because of the gala and party, but if you are not one of those people then skip the party and have your money work hard by simply donating it to the charity directly.

For ideas on how to pick a charity see How to Find a Good Charity and for ideas on the best ways to donate to charities see Best Way to Donate