Category: Charity & Donations

Checking Out Charities

There are so many charitable causes to donate to. And there are plenty of shady outfits that try to pose as legitimate charities. Before you act, make sure you’re donating to a worthwhile outfit.

Charity Research Websites

Use any of these websites to lookup and learn more about legitimate charitable organizations:

GuideStar

CharityWatch

Charity Navigator

Give.org

Check with the Government

The federal government will let you search their list of tax-exempt organizations and verify their eligibility to receive donations. I find that this search is easiest if I know and enter the EIN of the company I am researching.

Your state government may also offer tools for finding registered charities. Find your state on this list for appropriate tools, contacts and additional info.

General Advice

When donating money, using a credit card is going to protect you the most. Personal checks are also acceptable if you are confident of the company you are dealing with. But please be suspicious of any charity asking for gift cards or wire transfers or cryptocurrency.

Fraudulent charities may use a name that is deceptively similar to legitimate charities. When doing your research, be exact with the wording and spelling of the company with whom you are dealing.

If a charity is pressuring you to act now before time runs out, stop and back away from the situation. Pressure tactics should be a red flag for fraud. Legitimate charities won’t use a sense of urgency to earn your donations.

Keep good records of what you give, and check your accounts and statements to verify what you’ve given. Watch out for any misunderstandings that lead to recurring withdrawals or charges.

The Russia-Ukraine War: Avoiding Scams and How to Help

Many scammers are capitalizing on the emotions revolving around the conflict in Ukraine. Please be on the lookout for scams related to the war in Ukraine, especially fundraising scams.

If you do want to help, you have options and tools to make sure you do it safely, using legitimate organizations. Check out these articles for solid ideas and appropriate companies to work with.

For any other charities you might consider, know that you can check their reputations, using watchdog websites like:

Charity Navigator

GuideStar

Charity Watch

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