To get to where we feel good about really helping charities can seem a long road, but here are a few ways to think of it. It's not an overwhelming process.

These 3 suggestions are from just one website offering “The Best Ways to Effectively Donate to Charity.”

  1. Don't think of the leg work, just get started. It just may become a labor of love to find an issue that draws you in.
  2. Some of the first questions to ask are simple. Does the charity cite successes? Are there outside comments that can be verified? When an organization doesn’t do that, it may be that vague stories are all they have.
  3. Volunteer to get involved more than just writing checks. Think about your skills and passions that could be used. Browse volunteering websites. There are many good ones.

When making these decisions, Warren Buffet says, “the important thing is that you feel good about it when you’ve done it.” Someone who has worked with many people like Buffet, a Social Lab Professor, Rebecca Riccio, said that she'd like people to think of giving as an investment, in the change they’d like to see.

For Cheyenne, Wyoming, here’s a site called greatnonprofits.org, to keep it local for our community. In fact, the first ones on the list you may know pretty well, like Meals on Wheels.

And look for this anytime. The opportunity to make a difference can be in just a friend having a real hard time. It may come at just the time you happen to be who can really help. When it does, see some helpful insights here. Being available may be just that easy.

Of course we have to mention our “Thankful Thursdays" series. Another different worthy Wyoming charity gets a boost - every week - from one big party fun for all. See this season's list of Thankful Thursdays charities, and help us pass $1 Million raised.