According to Giving USA Americans gave a record $390 million last year, and ranks number 3 in the country among the most charitable states.

“It’s important to remember that every dollar counts,” said Trey Peterson with Haven Financial Group. “Individuals and families made up the bulk of the record donations last year.” Appearing on KARE 11, Peterson said before you give, it is important to select the charity wisely. “

"Check the ratings of a charity online to see how it uses your donation. In other words: how much will go toward the cause and how much is spent on overhead,” added Peterson.

There are several websites where you can research charities online.

Tips to Maximize Charitable Donations

  • Choose Wisely
  • Find New Uses
  • Create a Paper Trail
  • Put in the Hours