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5 Top Charities for Putting Your Money to Work

Fourth-highest score: Homes for Our Troops
CharityNavigator score: 69.15 out of a possible 70

This charity builds free handicapped-accessible homes for veterans who sustained serious injuries in Afghanistan, Iraq and other combat zones since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Homes for Our Troops builds units around the country using donated money, building materials and skilled labor.

CharityNavigator gives the nonprofit four stars, primarily because the group spends 88.1% of all donations on good works and just some 11.7% on fundraising and overhead. The group also meets all of CharityNavigator's criteria for accountability and transparency.

Miniutti says Home for Our Troops has also expanded spending on good works by 38% annually since 2008, "and that's quite high."

In addition to getting top marks from CharityNavigator, Homes for Our Troops also garners an "A" grade from rival rating site CharityWatch.org. (CharityWatch, which monitors some 600 nonprofits, doesn't track any of the other groups on this list.)

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