It might be news coverage of a recent disaster, a well-timed solicitation, or a naturally generous attitude; regardless of the reason, the last few months of the year are known for increased charitable giving. If you’ve been doing this for a while, maybe you’ve thought about reevaluating where you donate. If you’re new to charities, maybe you want to learn about who’s who in the world of giving. It’s Charity Fraud Awareness Week. This year the Division of Consumer Protection wants you to know how to build trust in the organizations to whom you’re considering giving your money.
These Resources Can Help You
Give.org – This is a service from the Better Business Bureau. The website evaluates charities based on 20 trusted BBB standards for charity accountability. Charities that meet all of the criteria are accredited by the organization, which is something those groups probably want potential donors to know.
Charity Navigator – Charity Navigator, a nonprofit organization itself, has rated nearly 200,000 other charities. It has helped countless potential donors make the right decision. Charity Navigator also offers tips for donors on their blog.
Charity Watch – Charity Watch is an independent watchdog organization for 30 years. This resource prides itself on digging deep. Charity Watch researches the efficiency, accountability, and governance of charities to best serve consumers. Charity Watch offers a quality ratings system, thoughtful commentary, and frequent consumer updates. This resource helps donors get a complete picture of where their money is going.
DCP “Verify a Registration” tool – If you’re interested in a particular charity, make sure they’re verified with DCP. This tool shows you if an organization’s license is up to date and how much of your contribution goes to the goal you intend. This resource is different from the ones previously mentioned. It does not rate nor endorse charities. The statistics this tool provides isn’t meant to deter potential donors. It gives donors information so they can ask the right questions before making a decision. For example, if you learn a smaller than expected percentage of donations goes to a charity’s intended purpose, the organization might have a good reason. This tool is another resource to consider when decision making.