The holiday season is finally here, and you can’t get your mind off your to-do list. Your list is long, as usual, but there is one thing that makes it different from other lists that you have made before: it includes giving some money to a charitable organization. You want to be a change agent and help make the world a better place. Before you give, however, be aware that there are fake charity organizations out there that want to take advantage of your generosity and compassion for others. You want to ensure your hard-earned money is benefiting a worthy cause. Here is what you should consider before you donate to a charitable organization this holiday.
Are They Legitimate?
Charity solicitations increase during holidays. Before you give, it is crucial to ensure the non-profit organizations you choose are legitimate. How can you tell if a non-profit is legit or not? The first thing you should consider is the word-of-mouth. Do your friends and colleagues know about the organization? You should also conduct research online to find out what other donors and other people say about the organization. Besides, there are also online tools that have popped up in recent years that can help you know whether or not an organization is worth donating to. Use every source possible!
Tip: Donate only to organizations that you know and have confidence in what they do and represent.
Who Runs The Organization?
Information about the people running a non-profit will also help you know if it’s worth it or not. Well-run charitable organizations are effective and have a transparent management team. Are they responsive and committed to the people they serve? How will they show you that your donations will be put to good use? Answers to these questions will help you know what you are getting yourself into.
Tip: Look at the organization’s financial records will help you know the kind of people that run the organization.
Does The Non-Profit Organization Have Tax-Exempt Status?
When giving to charity, it’s advisable to ensure your donations are tax-deductible. The best way to make sure this happens is to ensure you only deal with accepted non-profit organizations. If an organization claims to have a have tax-exempt status, don’t take their word for it. Make sure you use every resource possible to verify that information.
Tip: Check if the organization is in the IRS online charity database is the easiest way to know if it has a 501(c)(3) tax exemption.
Don’t judge a non-profit based on its name. Be bold and ask the hard questions. This way, you will identify a non-profit that will help make a difference.