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QPQ Strate♦Gem #1: Charitable Giving

We are all asked to support and donate to our local community.  Do you know where your donations (dollars or in-kind) are going? Is the organization a For Profit donating a portion of funds to a charity, or are they a 501(c )(3) public charity?

Step 1: Confirm 501(c)(3) Status
Wise donors don’t drop money into canisters at the checkout counter or hand over cash to solicitors outside the supermarket. Situations like these are irresistible to scam artists who wish to take advantage of your goodwill. Smart givers only support groups granted tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Step 2: Check The Charity’s Commitment To Accountability & Transparency
Savvy donors ask the charity for copies of its three most recent Form 990. Not only can the donor examine the charity’s finances, but the charity’s willingness to send the documents is a good way to assess its commitment to transparency.

Step 3: Verify Where YOUR Dollars Go
Ask how many cents on each dollar of your donation goes to general administration and fundraising expenses and how much is left for the programs and services you want to support.

Step 4: Ask for Results
Follow up after the fundraiser. Find out who was helped, and how. Are the results in conformance with your understanding of the charity’s mission?

 Here are three quick ways to verify the organization:

  1. Sunbiz.Org – Look up by Name
  2. 501(c)(3) Look Up & Search Tool
  3. 990 Finder enter the name or EIN (Employer Identification Number) of the charity you’d like to learn more about. If you were unable to find an organization through the 990 Finder, then you should visit the IRS website to confirm that the group is an actual 501(c )(3) public charity.



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