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4 Things to Consider Before Giving to Charity When it comes to supporting a charity, it helps to be realistic.

By J.D. Roth

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

UNC Greensboro

Every year I give a little more money to charity than I did the previous year. But to be honest, my total contributions are still pretty meager. And by the standards laid out by ethicist Peter Singer, they qualify as positively stingy. In a New York Times editorial, Singer espoused a progressive approach to giving, much like we see with our income taxes: The more you make, he says, the bigger percentage of your income you should give.

His baseline suggestion? The top 10 percent of earners--those with average annual income of $132,000--should be donating at least 10 percent.

Whether you adhere to this or make your own rules, deciding how much to give is the easy part--it's choosing a charity that's hard. I have a tough time deciding who should get my help. Each cause makes a compelling argument, yet my resources are limited. So to narrow the options, I've adopted a handful of guidelines.