Local charities hope to be remembered at holidays - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Local charities hope to be remembered at holidays

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

We are approaching the time of year when charitable donations are at their highest.

Many of the large, national charities have huge overhead and some of the money donated does go towards that.

In fact, a recent report in Forbes said that 11 of the top 100 charities in the U.S. paid someone more than a million dollars.

While these groups are still doing good work, the answer many have turned to is donating to local charities.

At Opportunity Village, they're getting ready for the annual Magical Forest and the Great Santa Run.

Both events are big fundraisers for the charity and offset the fact that people don't always hand over straight cash donations like the national organizations.

"Local charities, sometime they struggle a little bit more because they don't have that national brand and so you're always working really hard to position your charity locally," said Linda Smith of Opportunity Village. "But the best thing about supporting your local charity is that 100 percent of your money stays right here."

There are also local branches of national groups that do keep donations locally.

Forbes lists Catholic Charities, USA as the third largest charity nationwide, but the local chapter says most of the money stays here.

"The direct services to clients is 91 percent," said Phillip Hollon of Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada. "So 91 cents of every dollar is going to provide that direct client service."

For small local charities the challenge is to compete.

Kim Amato is the founder and executive director of a charity that provides new mothers in need a much-needed head start.

"Baby's Bounty distributes the most essential items to babies born into low-income families," Amato said. "We're all about health, safety and well-being."

Amato said it's difficult to get on potential donor's radar.

"That's a challenge to get your name out there and your mission out there," Amato said. "We're not a national affiliate. I started Baby's Bounty four years ago in my family room so it's been word of mouth."

If you're looking to give to a charity, some things to keep in mind includes pre-screening the charity your giving to, deciding how much you can give and making sure you donate safely.

If you don't have money to give, most charities welcome gently used items tied into their mission.

Copyright 2012 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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