Check Before You Give

Check Before You Give Many charities use your donations wisely. Unfortunately, there are others that spend much of your contribution on fundraising and administrative expenses, and those who misrepresent themselves and solicit your money for phony causes. So it makes sense to investigate a charity before you make a donation. Consider taking the following precautions before you contribute to a charity:

Ask for written information about the charity's mission, information about how your dollars will be spent, and proof that your donation is tax deductible. If a charity is reluctant to provide you with this information, think twice about making your gift.

When you receive a phone solicitation, ask for the caller to identify himself. If a caller refuses to give you a name, hang up and report the call to your local authorities.

Be wary about giving your credit card number over the phone. Instead, consider mailing your contribution once you have verified that the charity is legitimate and that it represents a cause you would like to support.

Just because an organization tells you to keep the receipt for your records, this does not mean that the organization is "tax exempt" or that your contribution is "tax deductible." To find out if an organization is exempt from federal income tax and how much of your contribution to it is tax deductible, visit this IRS Web site:

Asking the right questions and obtaining certain information from the charity is the only way you can be sure your contribution will be used to benefit the causes and people you want to support. If we can assist you in analyzing the information you receive, please give us a call.

Disclaimer: All materials presented on this web site are for informational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for any tax, accounting or legal advice. Some of the material may have changed due to new legislation. Please contact us for specific information.