To donate, here's a selection of Web sites to get you started:

Charity.com: Has charity news and information for donating online.

Charitychoices.com: Profiles more than 300 national and local charities that meet standards for inclusion in the Combined Federal Campaign. Online donating offered.

Charitygift.com: Allows donations in honor of friends, families or causes. Also offers a gift registry for contributions.

Networkforgood.org: Has information on thousands of charities nationally. In addition, it lets people set up a "charity wish list" and figure out how donations will affect their taxes.

OPM.gov/cfc: Gives information on charities included in the Combined Federal Campaign.

Pointsoflight.org: Offers information on volunteering and access to thousands of volunteer centers across the country that match people with charities.

TouchDC.org: Has information about 25,700 charities in the Washington area. Volunteers can sign up as well.

Unitedwaynca.org: Offers information on local nonprofits and online giving.

Webcharity.com: Allows donations of new and used items, which are then sold online to benefit charity.

To check out a charity before writing that check:

Charitynavigator.org: Evaluates the finances of more than 1,700 large charities by examining their tax filings.

Give.org: Has in-depth reports on hundreds of charitable organizations that solicit nationally. Also has tips on how to donate wisely.

Guidestar.org: Has financial records for more than 850,000 nonprofits.