Making the most of #GivingTuesday and other charitable donations

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - The end of the year is fast approaching. The holidays are even closer. And, there's an online campaign called #GivingTuesday that aims to turn December 2 into a worldwide day of charitable donations.

Whether you're moved by the spirit of the holidays, a national fundraising campaign or even just the prospect of one last tax deduction, this is the season of giving.

If you want your dollars to do the most good, though, it never hurts to do your homework.

There are several sites available that can help you determine whether a charity is worthy of your support.

For example, Charity Navigator uses financial reports, along with accountability and transparency standards to rate large charities.

The Better Business Bureau also tracks charities, checking them against 20 accreditation standards.

At the BBB's site, you can find detailed information on hundreds of charitable organizations.

You can also search for reports on local charities here through the Better Business Bureau of North Alabama. Just click the box marked "Charities" in the right-hand corner and type in the name.

In addition, the BBB offers some basic giving advice along with more specific information about everything from charity sweepstakes to telephone appeals.