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How to Choose The Right Charity for Your Donation

Nonprofits and charities touch every part of our lives and are critical to our community.  With the end of 2019 now in sight, many people and businesses will show their generosity and donate to local charities and nonprofits.  With so many worthy nonprofits in Oklahoma City, finding the right one to support can be a challenge.

Tenaciously Teal’s founder, Tarah Warren, advises that before you give to any nonprofit, it’s important to become comfortable with their mission and their long and short-term goals. Have them show you how they are really making progress toward those goals. 

“It’s also ok to vet the organization to be sure it’s using donor’s money to truly help their cause and the people they serve.”  In that light, here are some of the things you can ask the founder or staff: 

– Are they designated as a 503(C)3 by the IRS so that you can deduct your donation on your taxes?

– Find out how much of their money actually goes to their programs vs their expenses. The recommended guideline is less than 25 percent should go to administration, operations, and fundraising.

– Do their board members contribute to and participate in the organization’s programs and fundraising efforts?


There are also several online resources you can use to ensure that your money is being used the way you want it to be.

– The I.R.S. website will tell you if your organization is listed as a qualified organization in its searchable database of charities.

Charity Navigator and Guidestar.org will tell you how much of a charity’s money will actually go to its programs vs. administrative and fundraising costs. 

– The Better Business Bureau’s Give.org. The BBB Wise Giving Alliance website lists registered complaints about charities.


Tarah added that one of the best ways to find out the inner workings of a charity is to volunteer, follow them on Facebook or attend one of their events. “Get to know the staff, the volunteers and talk to or read about the people they help.”   

“Who knows, you may get more from the organization than just a tax deduction…like a really good feeling of being part of something bigger that helps others or a cause you really care about. Find a place where you can ‘Share the Love’.  That’s what it’s really all about!”

 

 

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