Tightwad Tuesday: 3 Easy Ways To Check Out Your Charity Before You Donate

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We are givers. In fact, research shows spending money on others makes us happier than spending on ourselves.

I don’t know about you, but I just want to make sure my gift is going to a real charity, the funds aren’t just spent on overhead, and the organization is professional. That’s not too much to ask is it?


Here are 3 easy ways to check out your charity before you write a check:

1. Determine if they are a “qualified” charity. The IRS has a database of charitable organizations (501(c)3 organizations) that are eligible to receive tax exempt donations.

Here is the link to search for your favorite charity – click here.

2. What percentage of contributions actually go to the charitable programs versus administrative expenses? Of course, every organization has some overhead but it should be reasonable. CharityNavigator.org is a resource.

3. Does the charity receive excessive complaints? The Better Business Bureau Charity Guide may have the information you need. They have a 20 point charity accreditation guide that gives plenty of details. Not all charity information is populated saying, “Under review.” The ones that had information were pretty thorough.

Mom was right. It is better to give than receive. When I give of my hard earned money, I just want it to mean something. Don’t you?

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