Many of us search out worthy organizations when we are looking to give back to our communities. When you’re volunteering, it’s easy to see how your resources are helping those who need it. If you’re building a playground on a Saturday, it’s pretty clear that you’re building a playground. However, when you’re making a donation to an organization it can be difficult to trace the dollar’s path while ensuring your money is making a difference.
Never fear, we have you covered. Here are some key steps you can take to make sure the charity you’re donating to is legitimate.
Determine the Data
There are several online resources that can help give you a snapshot of the organization you’re considering. Guidestar and Charity Navigator are two sites that provide information about nonprofits. Each site has its own view on what’s important to know about a charity and those beliefs influence its data gathering methodology. It’s important that you understand how they gather the information so you can determine what information is important to you. Some of these databases have launched campaigns in the past that push the importance of looking at results as well as financials. Bottom line – there’s a lot of data out there. Ultimately, you have to decide what information will make you feel good about your donation.
Check The Form
The 501c3 is the most common type of nonprofit organization recognized by the IRS. Especially if you are dealing with ana newly formed nonprofit or an organization that is very small, it’s good to ask for their 501c3 information. If they’re not a 501c3, you will likely not be able to write off the donation.
Work Through a Trusted Partner
If this blog post is overwhelming you, don’t fret! There are plenty of organizations that serve as a sort-of “gathering place” for nonprofit organizations. United Way drives impact in communities across the country by providing a pivotal funding resource for often lesser known organizations. Organizations apply through a grant selection process and are approved to become United Way agencies. HandsOn Network organizations are another way to find many charities within a community. Their mission is to put people in the middle of change opportunities. If there’s a “HandsOn” organization in your city, it can be a great place to connect with legit and established charity organizations.
Proof of Results
A good litmus test for any charity that you’re considering donating to is their results. What success have they had when it comes to making an impact on their cause? Any charity should be able to rattle off recent success stories or ways they’ve had an impact. If the charity is new and hasn’t had time to build proof, ask to see their roadmap or plan of action.
Now that’s a great idea! uBack can help make giving easy because we vet the charities for you. Organizations that sign up on the uBack platform are required to provide the appropriate tax exempt status forms in order to be featured on the app. These forms also allow us to provide you with an easy way to document your online donations at the end of the year. You can simply export and email them to yourself through the app platform.