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How to Determine if your Charity is Legitimate


It is nice to give to others, and to help out those in need. When you choose a charity or cause to donate your money to, you need to make sure that you are giving a legitimate organization that will use your money for the purpose that you intended. It is your money that you are giving, so you should be sure that the charity or cause support your beliefs and your purposes when you give.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: An hour

Here's How:

  1. First, you need to determine which charity or cause that you want to give to. For example if you want to donate a gift or money for children over the holidays you should have several different options available in your area to choose from. If you are choosing to help fight cancer or another cause you may different organizations to choose from as well.
  2. Second, you need to make sure that the organization you are giving to is legitimate. An easy way to do this is make sure it is a national organization with a large track record. You can check with your state to see if they are registered as a nonprofit. Many nonprofits also post where the contributions go on their websites. If you donate to a large organization such as the Red Cross you may be able to choose to support a specific need or cause.
  3. Third, you need to make sure that you are donating through a legitimate channel. For example, people have gone door to door collecting donations, and claiming that they belong to an organization when they do not. Usually you are best to contact your local chapter of the organization or the national organization and donate directly to them.
  4. Fourth, if you donate on the Internet be sure that you use a secure connection. You also need to make sure that the site is legitimate and not a site that was put up by someone other than the organization that you are trying to donate to. Be especially careful if you are linking to the site through an email that you received.


  1. Giving money is a great way to help others. It can help you to feel empowered and to take control of your finances as you take time to donate on a regular basis. Many financial advisors recommend giving money on a regular basis.
  2. You should determine how much you can give and stick to your budget. You may choose to divide it between several different organizations or causes or you may choose to give to just one. The help that you give will be appreciated. You can also claim the donation as a tax deduction.
  3. Take advantage of the opportunities to donate through your work. Many companies will offer an incentive if you will contribute to United Way or another organization through your work. If you are comfortable giving to United Way it is easy to have the money automatically deducted from your paycheck each month.
  4. If you do not have the money to give, consider donating your time to a cause that you feel is important. Many people in their twenties spend time mentoring children and teenagers through Big Brothers and Big Sisters or other similar organizations. You can also give smaller donations of goods to your local food pantry to help when you have a little extra money.

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