With more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the United States and limited funds available to address society’s needs, competition for donations can be intense. Poor economic conditions can result in increased demand for charities’ services at a time when their resources are shrinking and they are asked to do more with less. All charities must spend money to cover overhead costs, including costs associated with soliciting donations, but not all charities are committed to keeping overhead costs reasonable. Some charities stuff your mailbox with fundraising appeals, hire high pressure telephone solicitors, and use aggressive tactics to get your money. All of this can leave you feeling overwhelmed and confused about which charities are most deserving of your contributions. CITIZENS AND FRIENDS provides the following pointers to help you avoid charity frauds, scams, and inefficient nonprofits so that your contributions to charity will have the best chance of making the impact you intend.