Four Things to Look for Before Giving a Charitable Donation

Making a monthly donation to your favorite charity is a good way to give back and to help those in need. While there are some charities that you know and respect, you'll likely come across some organizations that you never heard of before. Do not give a single dime of your money until you do your research and determine that the money goes to support a good cause.

Tax Deduction Proof

Whether donating to adult or children's charities, you always want to make sure that the organization will provide you with proof of your donation, which lets you write off that cash on your taxes the following year. The IRS requires some type of proof such as a letter that shows what you gave. If the charity refuses to give you this information, it may be a scam.

Sales Tactics

Before engaging in charitable giving, you should think about the sales tactics that the organization uses. High pressure tactics include people who constantly ask you to give money and to give money now instead of giving you time to think things through. The top charities will provide you with all the information that you need and give you time to decide what you want to do.

Guaranteed Winnings

Chirty gifts are gifts that the charity gives you for your donation. If you watch PBS, you might come across a telethon that gives you coffee mugs, tote bags and other simple gifts based on how much you donate. Organizations often give small gifts as a way to encourage others to donate money. Some scam charities though will push you to make a donation in exchange for a chance to win a big prize like a cruise or a new car. Those charities may guarantee that you'll win when you donate more money.

Available Information

Before you donate monthly or annually, always look at all the information that is available to you. You should pay special attention to the way in which the charity will use your donation and where the money goes. Many people are surprised when they learn that some of the biggest charities spend more on operating costs and paying the salaries of executives than on actually helping those in need. You should also look at the mission of the organization and what steps it takes to reach its goals.

Disability charities and other charitable organizations use the donations received to assist those who need help as well as to bring attention to issues and problems such as cancer and other medical conditions. Looking at where the money goes and at other things makes sure that your donation goes to a worthy cause. The Christian Blind Mission website has more online resources available.