Nothing feels better than giving to a cause that helps those in need. There is a charity for every cause imaginable. There are charities that raise money to help sick children, wounded warriors or for research of diseases such as cancer and various other causes. When you are contacted over the phone by a solicitor, they know how to play on your emotions and get you to donate. But, you may wonder just as Ira Riklis does, if they are legitimate. Fortunately, with a little research, you can make an informed decision about donating to such charities.
Identifying Bad Charities
There are so many charities out there and it can be difficult to know which ones are doing what they say with your money. When you make a donation, it is your hope that a majority of every dollar donated goes to help the cause. You might be surprised to know that some of the worst charities spend just three cents on the dollar. One such charity is the Kids Wish Network. It raises millions of dollars each year in the name of sick and dying children. A mere three cents for every dollar donated makes it to help these children. The remaining millions are spent on the charity’s operators and to pay professional solicitors to bring in donations.
Finding Worthwhile Charities
You want to know that when you donate your hard-earned money, you are not simply lining the pockets of some executive who’s running a scam charity or paying solicitors to bring in millions. You want to know your money is going to help others with a minimal amount going to administrative costs. If you want to find reputable charities, then you should visit this website. Here, you will find charities rated from A to F.
How To Avoid Scams
Since scams are rampant in the charitable giving arena, it’s important to know how to avoid such scams. Before you donate, you need to research the charity. Most solicitors will try to pressure you into donating over the phone when they call. Don’t fall for it. Tell them you want to do some research before you donate. That is your right so don’t let them talk you into donating on the spot. The following tips are great ways to determine if a charity is legitimate.
- Determine if the charity is a 501(c)(3) organization. If it is registered as such, then it is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a non-profit organization. You can research this by obtaining the company’s EIN. If they refuse to provide one, don’t donate.
- Ask about the charity’s mission, goals, and history. They should be just as passionate about the cause they are asking you to support as you are. Therefore, they should be eager to share details with you. If they try to pass off your questions as unimportant, then you should find another charity.
- Google the charity. You can find anything on the internet. See what others have to say about the charity. If someone had a bad experience, you’ll find it on the internet. Also, after a disaster, there will be many fake websites set up in the name of helping disaster victims. You should search for the charity’s EIN on their webpage or donation page. If you can’t find it, move on. Most charities will have a .org website.
- Use watchdog websites like Charity Navigator to find legitimate causes. You can use this website to see where your donation is going and ensure that the charity which you’ve chosen is who they say they are.
Everyone is out to get your money. When you’re contacted by someone soliciting donations, do your research to ensure you’re not being scammed. A little research will go a long way.