When people are moved to give money to help others, they often don't stop to think about the particular charity they're sending their hard-earned bucks to because their immediate impulse is to help those who need it.

But to make the most of the money you donate, you should know about an organization whose mission is to rate charities on their performances.

It's called Charity Navigator, and it'll guide you to charities you can give to with peace of mind.

There are several different categories that organizations are grouped into; for instance, "10 highly-rated charities with low-paid CEO's" or "10 charities with the most consecutive 4-star ratings" (their highest rating).

Regarding some of the charities that are helping victims of Hurricane Sandy, The Red Cross has earned a 3-star rating, which is good, but Direct Relief International and the Community FoodBank of New Jersey have both earned all 4 stars!

Of course, there's also our own "Restore the Shore", which you can reach by texting "RESTORE" to 89000 or by clicking on RESTORE THE SHORE here at the Hawk's website to find out ways you can help the Hawk rebuild and recover from the damage caused by Sandy.

Restore the Shore is an ongoing effort established by Townsquare Media of New Jersey partnered with Hometown Heroes, a wonderful organization based in Toms River.

Isn't it great to know that you can get info on the charities you intend to give to so you can donate intelligently?

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