Expert Gives Tips on Safe Charitable Giving
CARSON CITY, Nev. -- There are more than 1.5 million charitable organizations in the United States, so it can be tough to figure out which to choose for your end-of-the-year donations.
Attorney Beverly Salhanick with the Nevada Justice Association said you first need to familiarize yourself with a group's mission and the specific ways it addresses the problem. Then she suggests Googling the charity to see what others are saying about it. And check out sites that grade charities.
"Then you want to look at Charitynavigator.org or at give.org, both of those rate the charities and act as watchdogs to make sure that they're doing what they say they're going to do,” Salhanick said.
These sites also will tell you what percentage of donation money goes to solving the problem versus how much goes to administrative costs. Salhanick said you can also can get in touch with the Better Business Bureau to see if the organization has had any complaints lodged against it.
"You can go to the Internal Revenue Service website and see if it's a 501(c)(3) organization,” she said, "or you can check at guidestar.org."
The average Nevadan who itemized their deductions reportedly gave almost $4,500 to charity in 2013, according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics.