It's the season of giving, and a lot of people like to donate to charity around this time of year. In fact, 30% of online donations are made in the month of December. Now, charities have come under a lot of scrutiny lately, and that's a very good thing.

Donating to charity is a lot like investing. Before you invest your money, you want to make sure that it's a solid investment, and the same should hold true for charity. Now, we all know there are tons of rip-off charities out there, but there are also legitimate charities that just don't spend their money right and, while they have the best intentions, they end up not helping as much as others.

Well, the folks at Wallet Hub have done a lot of the homework for you and just released its list of the best charities out there. A big part of the criteria is just how much of your donation goes to the actual cause. Here are a few of the charities they recommend.

  1. To help veterans- Fisher House Foundation.
  2. Community development and youth - YMCA.
  3. Animal Causes -PetSmartCharities.org
  4. Help underprivileged kids get a better education-  DonorsChoose.org.
  5. To help the homeless there's the The National Alliance to End Homelessness at EndHomelessness.org.
  6. To help people in other countries-  DirectRelief.org or ActionAgainstHunger.org.

WalletHub suggests that you check out any charity to make sure they are legitimate and there are two sites where you can do just that:

CharityWatch.org and CharityNavigator.org.