Charitable Donations Mini-Lesson

Over the past year I have viewed many articles about how to tell the difference between real news and fake news which got me thinking about the legitimacy of charitable organizations and donations.  The consumer rights explain how we need to be informed so we can make wise choices. This is true of making charitable donations as well!  After all, people want to make sure their hard earned money is truly going to the cause when they make their contributions!  This mini-lesson shows students how to investigate their charities of interest so they can make an informed decision when making charitable donations!


  •  Many people find when preparing a budget that they’d like to include charitable giving into their spending plan.  Brainstorm a list of organizations you’ve heard of that request or accept donations.
  • Ask students to quickly look up the term “Invulnerability Illusion” and be prepared to discuss what it is and how it may apply to charitable giving.
  • The Invulnerability Illusion is best defined as the mindset that one cannot be harmed by anyone or anything. This type of thinking may cause people to take more chances or risks in their lives.
  • Here is an optional article about this term you may want to reference or read with your students.


  • Laptops or iPads


  • Ask students to complete a “Pre-Investigation Activity” where they have to decide if a charity or organization is a high rated or low rated organization to donate to.  They must do this based purely on the name of the organization.  Please note:  This list was derived from a Consumer Reports website that provided names/addresses of these organizations.
  • Explain that while charitable giving is very commendable, it is important to understand how to determine if a charity is legitimate or just trying to scam us.  How do we do this?
  • Ask students to visit the following sites and use the information to help them answer the provided prompts found in the attachment “Charitable Donations:  How to Determine Legitimacy”.
  • Part of the assignment asks them to revisit the charities on the pre-investigation list and research to determine the actual high or low rating for donations.  Students then answer some follow-up questions about what they’ve learned.
  • It’s important to explain that just because a charity or organization sounds appealing or like they do good work, you can’t go by that alone; you must do your homework!  Otherwise, your hard earned money may be going to pay someone’s salary instead of for the cause.


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles of Free Digital Photos

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.