Holidays put most people in the giving mood, and their donations support charities. Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy , researched and written by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University and published by Giving USA Foundation , estimated that total charitable contributions by individuals, corporations, and foundations in 2011 were $298.42 billion. Sponsorship of charitable causes or events is a strategy used to increase product awareness and build relationships. Organizations use sponsorships to gain exposure to the event's audience and the image associated with the event or activity. Sponsorships involve investments in events or causes in order to achieve various corporate objectives. Managers select events to sponsor based on the target audience. Event marketing is a form of brand promotion that ties a brand to a meaningful athletic, entertainment, cultural, social, or other type of high-interest public activity. It provides companies with alternatives to the cluttered mass media, ability to segment on a local or regional basis, and opportunities for reaching narrow lifestyle groups whose consumption behavior can be tied to the local event. Just like corporations, individuals can think strategically about supporting charities. They can target their giving by choosing to make one big donation rather than making small donations to many individual charities. They can match what matters most to them to the mission of the charity. They can review the accomplishments of the charity. Websites reviewing and rating charities include CharityNavigator.org, CharityWatch.org, GuideStar.org, and GreatNonProfits.org. Reviews are based on standards such as fundraising expenses, transparency, and overhead expenses. Dan Pallotta , author of Uncharitable and Charity Case , thinks that standards, such as overhead expenses, are the wrong criteria to evaluate charities. Instead program effectiveness should be determined. Pallotta says three questions should be asked. What are your goals? What is your progress towards those goals? How do you know? Which charitable causes are important to you? How do you know if the charity is effective? Can the charity give you information indicating how successful it is? How successful is the organization?