End-of-Year Giving: 10 Charities to Consider Before the Close of 2013

(Photo: World Vision)A boy at a community water pump provided by World Vision.

The year 2013 is quickly drawing to a close, but there is still plenty of time to do some good, and at the same time, maybe even help lighten your tax burden for the upcoming filing season. Here are 10 ways you can help provide essential resources to those in need in the U.S. and around the world.

World Vision
Clothing and shelter, access to education, and even soccer balls are just some of the items donors can choose to provide for economically challenged children living in countries like Cambodia, Ethiopia, and Ghana. A donation of $100 provides a family with a goat and two chickens — or healthy milk, cheese and yogurt and fresh eggs. Learn more: www.worldvision.org

charity: water
Working to provide clean and safe drinking water "to every person on the planet," charity: water has managed to fund nearly 9,500 water projects in 20 countries. One hundred percent of donations goes directly toward a water project. Charity: water's online store, with merchandise ranging from playing cards and T-shirts to campaign posters and Pure Fix Cycles, is also an option since a percentage of every purchase supports the nonprofit. Learn more: www.charitywater.org

One Day's Wages
One Day's Wages offers donors the opportunity to help non-government organizations and community based organizations working around the world to put an end to extreme poverty, fight human trafficking, provide maternity clinics in Nepal, among other goals. In addition to supporting these global organizations through One Day's Wages, donors can "campaign for a cause" using the occasion of a birthday or crowdfunding idea to help raise funds. Learn more: www.onedayswages.org

Claro Candles
Claro Candles, a for-profit company, passes on a percentage of purchases of its all-natural, handcrafted candles to charitable organizations that work to provide education access to kids, end modern-day slavery, provide clean water, and more. For example, an "Education" candle helps provide a child with a day's education. Learn more: http://clarocandles.com

The A21 Campaign
This nonprofit works to educate others about human trafficking, rescues, shelters and helps to restore survivors, and prosecutes their traffickers. In addition to making donations, supporters can volunteer their time and get equipped to personally take action against human trafficking. Learn more: www.thea21campaign.org

Invisible Children
Invisible Children, dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating former child soldiers, is known for its push to bring about the capture of Uganda warlord Joseph Kony, founder of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), described by the U.S. Department as "one of Africa's oldest, most violent, and persistent armed groups." Kony is infamous for turning tens of thousands of children into soldiers and sex slaves and for displacing millions of Ugandans from their homes. Learn more: http://invisiblechildren.com

Equal Justice Initiative
This private nonprofit provides legal counseling and representation to "indigent defendants and prisoners who have been denied fair and just treatment in the legal system." The EJI is also active in addressing cases involving children sentenced as adults and incarcerated in adult prisons. Learn more: www.eji.org

HOPE International
"HOPE International is a network of microfinance institutions and savings and credit associations operating in 17 countries around the world" that empowers men, women and families to end the cycle of "physical and spiritual poverty," according to the organization. In addition to making monetary donations, supporters can use a gift catalog to help provide a farmer with tomato seeds or a cow, or a seamstress with fabric and thread or a sewing machine. Learn more: www.hopeinternational.org

International Justice Mission
IJM is a human rights organization that helps rescue survivors of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. "IJM lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals work with local officials to secure immediate victim rescue and aftercare, to prosecute perpetrators and to ensure that public justice systems — police, courts and laws — effectively protect the poor." Learn more: www.ijm.org

Gospel for Asia
In addition to evangelizing unreached groups, Gospel for Asia offers donors a variety of ways to get involved, including non-cash (stocks/mutual funds, vehicles, real estate, etc.) and cost-free giving options (matching gifts, airline miles, etc.). The charity's gift catalog also offers ways to provide the needy with necessities like clean water, milk-producing goats, fishing nets, sewing machines, and more. Learn more: www.gfa.org

Resources for Giving
Evaluating charitable organizations: Charity Navigator (www.charitynavigator.org), GuideStar (www.guidestar.org), GiveWell (www.givewell.org) Better Business Bureau Charity Reviews (www.bbb.org/charity-reviews/national/). IRS tips for year-end giving: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Offers-Tips-for-Year-End-Giving-2013.