To love what you do and feel that it matters--how could anything be more fun?

― Katherine Graham

The Importance of Researching Charities Before Giving to Them

Dear Friends:

It is important to be careful before giving to charities.

Most charities follow IRS regulations and the law. However, there are a small number of fraudulent entities and scams out there. These entities and scams prey upon the emotions and good will of donors. They are not registered with the IRS, and many are under investigation for fraud. Donations to these entities are NOT tax deductible.  

It is important to investigate the legitimacy of charities before donating to them. Request the entity’s Employer Identification Number (EIN) and then check the IRS website. This will enable you to see if the organization is registered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Note there are other types of tax exempt entities which you can research on the site.

Beyond checking the IRS website, it is important to learn about an organization before deciding if it is worthy of your support. There are a number of resources, such as Charity Navigator, which can be helpful to this effort.

If you have a Donor Advised Fund with a reputable and well managed organization such as The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, you have a level of comfort regarding your fund. These entities regularly review their charitable partners and grantees. As you can imagine, it is very important to their missions and well-being that every recipient organization is an authentic charity.

Finally, I can help you evaluate a charity.   Here are a few thoughts for your consideration:

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” Aesop

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Dr. Seuss

“It's not just about being able to write a check. It's being able to touch somebody's life.” Oprah Winfrey

All the best,



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