Givers should be smart as well as generous, experts say: Do your homework before donating to any cause

Charitable giving often is a spur-of-themoment thing, particularly if it's a response to a disaster. Still, charitable groups, relief agencies and financial advisers say a little thought before making a donation is a good idea. Giant disasters such as Hurricane Katrina jolt many people into trying to help, often with no particular idea beyond simply doing something. However, some types of help are more helpful than others. Properly following the rules of charitable giving can provide a tax benefit. It...

 

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