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What to Consider When
Donating to a Charity

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If you are interested in donating your money to a charity, then, before you make a contribution, you will want to make sure that the money is directed to the proper channels. Therefore, when you donate any amount, it is a good idea to review the mission statement of the organization.

Also, answer some key questions that are related to the charity’s mission statement before you donate. For instance:

- Is the charity following through with its stated mission?
- Is the organization spending its funds in accordance with the claims it makes during fundraising appeals?
- Are the materials and solicitations used by the charity honest and accurate?
- Does the non-profit consist of board of director members who are free of self-interests?

After answering the above questions, you can more easily support specific charities or non-profits in your community. Volunteer first with an organization so you can obtain first-hand knowledge about how it is organized and managed.

If you are solicited to donate, again, learn more about the not-for-profit before contributing. Take note of the organization’s events and fundraising practices and activities.

Watchdog groups have been established to set certain spending standards for charitable organizations and issue informational reports about allocating funds. Refer to such organizations as the Council of Better Business Bureaus Foundation and the American Institute of Philanthropy to obtain the information.

If you are canvassed by a solicitor, ask if he is being paid or if he is volunteering his time. Inquire as to how the distribution will be disbursed. Find out how much will be directed to the charity and how much will be used to cover the charity’s administration expense.

A reputable charity should be able to provide you with a written confirmation of their contact details, including their name, address and phone number as well as proof that they are operating in an exempt capacity.

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