Utah’s Division of Consumer Protection give a few tips on how to check out a charity before you donate

December 13, 2021

“Tis the season for giving.” This time of year, many are looking to give back.

Whether you have a favorite cause to donate to, or are looking for a worthy one, the Utah Department of Commerce’s Consumer Protection Division is here to help.

Our Division of Consumer Protection registers approximately 6,000 charities in the State of Utah. Any charity soliciting funds in Utah is required to register with the Division. To find out if a charity is registered, please visit the Division’s website. When you look up a charity, you’ll be able to verify how much of the donation goes toward the charitable cause versus how much is used for administrative or fundraising costs. Note the larger the percentage of fundraising and administrative costs, the lower the amount available for the charitable purpose.

When it comes to donating, please remember these tips:
1. Be cautious about providing any financial information.
2. Ask that printed material be sent to you before you make any contribution.
3. Don’t be pressured. A need is never so great that it can’t wait for you to make an informed decision. You can always choose to give later.
4. Check if the charity you’re donating to is registered as a tax exempt organization with the IRS.
5. Give directly to the charity, rather than a third party who may take a percentage of the donation.
6. Verify the charity is registered with the Division.
7. Check out the charity’s website to see what it says about how it uses donated funds.
8. Search online reviews of charities you are interested in donating to.
9. If you make a donation, ask for a receipt.