Tips for Charitable Giving

Follow these tips to donate safely this season.
  • Before you give, learn about the charity on any of these sites:

• Wise Giving Alliance (
• Council of Better Business Bureaus’ Foundation (
• American Institute of Philanthropy (

  • Know the difference between “tax-exempt” and “tax-deductible.” “Tax-exempt” means the organization doesn’t have to pay federal or state income taxes. Donations to a tax-exempt organization are not necessarily tax-deductible.
  • Don’t make cash donations. Write a check to the name of the charity, using the organization’s full name rather than initials or an abbreviation.
  • Do not give your credit card number to a telephone solicitor or in response to any unsolicited phone call you receive.
  • Be wary of high-pressure solicitors. Responsible fundraisers will not pressure a donor to give on the spot. Mail your donation after getting more information.
  • Watch out for similar-sounding names. Some questionable organizations use names that closely resemble those of well-known charities.
  • If you are suspicious of a solicitation, hang up the phone, shut the door, or walk away.

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