Advice: Where to Give?

Choosing a charity can be tough. Here are some tips for finding the one that's right for you

When Terry Neese cuts her charity checks each year, she's thinking about more than a tax deduction. One beneficiary, the March of Dimes, has deep personal significance for her. Neese, 54, learned of birth defects firsthand when her grandchild Emily, 8, was born with one arm shorter than the other. "In addition to giving to nonprofits that have important meaning to me," says Neese, who sits on the local board of March of Dimes in Oklahoma City, Okla., "I've done my homework to make sure these groups were getting the job done."

Choosing a charity isn't simple these days. With scores...

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