When supporting a cause you care about, you want to make sure your donation goes as far as possible. Before giving, do some research to ensure your gifts go where they’ll do the most good.
1. Research Online
If you aren’t already familiar with a good charity to support, start with some Google searches. Simply search for causes you care about like, “homeless children,” or “disaster relief,” paired with a phrase like “best charity”. Once you’ve found an organization you would like to donate to, you can also search for that organization alongside words like “scams” or “complaints” to make sure nothing negative pops up.
You can find out if your donation is tax deductible using the IRS’s Tax Exempt Organization Search, and you can find your state charity regulator at nasconet.org.
2. How Does the Organization Spend Money?
It’s also a good idea to research how the organization you’re considering uses their funds. This can help you ensure your money goes as far as possible. Websites like BBB Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, CharityWatch, and GuideStar can help with this.
3. Be Cautious About How You Pay
Never make your donations with gift cards or by wiring money. This is an old scam trick. To be safe, when paying online, use a credit card instead of a debit card.
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4. Look Out For Scammers’ Tricks
Never let anyone rush you into a donation – whether in person, on the phone, or on the internet. Take your time, and do your research before making any donations. For more information about charitable giving, visit the FTC’s page on avoiding charity scams.