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Research before Donating

Before you donate money or goods, research the charity. Be certain that the charity is real. Several agencies offer information to help you evaluate the operation of charities:
  • The Internal Revenue Service offers tax tips for donors.
  • Check a charity’s 501(c)3 status with the IRS’ exempt organization database. A charity must have 501(c)3 status if you plan to deduct your donation on your federal taxes.
  • The attorney general in your state often licenses charitable organizations. They may also have records of complaints about charities.
  • The Better Business Bureau offers reports about how large charities use their funds.