Tips for Giving Charitable Donations

Giving to a worthy cause can be rewarding, but it’s important to know who you’re giving to and how the money will be used. Check out the following tips for giving charitable donations.

  • Only give what you can afford. Don’t feel obligated to give to every organization requesting donations.
  • Don’t select a charity solely on its name. Many organizations that have names similar to those of well-known, reputable organizations may be fraudulent.
  • Don’t let emotional appeals or photos persuade you into giving. Check it out before you give to make sure it’s legitimate.
  • Never send cash. Contribute by check made payable to the organization and not to an individual. Don’t allow someone to come pick up money from you.
  • You are not required to make a donation to enter a sweepstakes. Donating money does not increase your chance of winning.
  • Florida law entitles you to receive a copy of the charity’s financial report. Obtain a copy to determine how much of your contribution is going towards the cause and how much for administrative and fundraising costs.
  • Be wary of charities that pop up overnight as a result of recent events.
  • Verify that your gift is tax deductible. Not all organizations soliciting for donations are true charities; therefore, your donations may not be tax deductible. You can verify through the IRS website.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s your money, so make it count.
  • People or organizations soliciting for charitable contributions are required to be registered with the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services.
  • You can search a charity at the Florida Check-a-Charity site.