NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- TV and newspaper images of oil-drenched beaches and wildlife may have you reaching into your wallet to help. Here's how to make sure you're getting the most out of your charity dollars.
Look for experience
Allocate your dollars to established organizations that have expertise in aiding Gulf communities. While there may be other charities that are eager to help relief efforts, they may lack the resources and management necessary for the job.
Track your money
Find out how the charity plans to spend your dollar. There are a number of ways that organizations are trying to pitch in, from protecting the shoreline and rehabilitating wildlife to advocating for different governmental energy policies. Ask that your donation is used for the company's Gulf-related activities, and not for general support of all its programs or administrative expenses.
Get a second opinion
Keep in mind that the Gulf region will be suffering from the effects of the oil spill for years to come. There will be plenty of opportunities for more donors down the road. If you can't find a cause you can get behind right now, you can always wait a few months and see what new organizations have stepped into action.
|Overnight Avg Rate||Latest||Change||Last Week|
|30 yr fixed||3.82%||3.84%|
|15 yr fixed||3.16%||3.15%|
|30 yr refi||3.77%||3.81%|
|15 yr refi||3.14%||3.13%|
Today's featured rates:
More than 5% of DACA recipients have started their own businesses since enrolling the program, according to a recent survey. More
Republican Senators are parting ways with their counterparts in the House when it comes to the mortgage interest deduction. More
From a DIY Star Wars Droid to a new Hatchimals toy and interactive Fingerlings, which are already flying off shelves, these products are worthy of a coveted spot on holiday wish lists. More
In 1998, Ntsiki Biyela won a scholarship to study wine making. Now she's about to launch her own brand. More
The Senate's proposed tax plan preserves the adoption tax credit. More