Are your charity dollars going to the right place on Giving Tues - WNEM TV 5

Are your charity dollars going to the right place on Giving Tuesday?

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Americans spent billions of dollars on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the traditional start to the holiday shopping season.

But in recent years a new tradition has taken hold, Giving Tuesday.

It’s a day designed to encourage all of us to give back and help those less fortunate.

Andrea Sneller works at the Disability Network of Mid-Michigan.

“It really means that it’s an opportunity for them to give back to some of the programs we work with.”

She said the organization reached out today, asking for donations to support their programs.

“It goes straight to the agency and you can designate it to a certain program, or to any of our programs.”

Consumers Energy is also participating in Giving Tuesday by offering Gifts of Energy.

“There are certificates that you could purchase and give to someone that can then be directly paid on to their bill,” said Kelley Peatross, Community Affairs Regional Manager at Consumer’s Energy in Saginaw.

She said you can get a gift certificate from any payment center, or online.

But the question remains, how do you know your money is going to the right place?

How do you know if your charity dollars are being well spent by the charity of your choice?

We did a little digging and found a charity watchdog group called Charity Navigator.

This website scores charities based on a variety of factors.

The American Civil Liberties Union, The Wounded Warrior Project, The United Way, American Red Cross, and The American Society for Animal Cruelty all scored over 80, the top five in the nation, according to the most recent data.

Meantime, at the disability network, Sneller reminds us Giving Tuesday is not over, donations are still welcome.

“The Disability Network of Mid-Michigan is a great opportunity.”

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