I may have not have clarified my original post. Sorry, if so. We don't have any difficulty discerning whom to give to. We have "X" amount of dollars to give before the gas, electric, telephone, insurance, realty tax, mortgage & other companies are knocking at our door. We must be good stewards. And in doing so, when there's no money left, well, there's no money left. And because of that, I *'DON'T *feel guilty about a good charitable organization not getting any donations, because I know that God is happy if we *ARE *good stewards.
What I was particularly interested in when starting this thread, is how others *discern *how and whom to give to. Example: we are dedicated donators to EWTN. Have been since the mid-90s. We truly believe that EWTN is a huge "bang for the buck". We have a couple of other organizations that we feel we MUST give to, (one having to do with our children's education). So then we reach a point when yet another organization asks for money, well, sorry, it's a great organization, but the money just ain't there. And again, I don't feel guilty about it.
We always try to keep a little available for the "emergency". Another family may SUDDENLY be in need medically, -then that's when our "emergency' fund, like $100-200 will go to that family, and usually 'anonymously' as well. I remember a few years ago, we barely knew a non-religious 'poor' family. We talked about it, prayed about it, and then sent them $300 anonomously (that was digging deep on our part). About 2 weeks later we were talking to them. Well you would think that Heaven had landed on their doorstep. They were extremely shocked (that someone would give them money), and you could see that there was a new sparkle in their eyes. To this day they don't know who sent it. To me, that was a huge 'bang for the buck'.
Anyway, it's been good to hear from others just how they discern their almsgiving. Thank you.