Webfinder : Charitable Giving

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Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance (Give.org) – Evaluates the management practices of hundreds of national charities. Also offers Advice for Donors, including basic advice, and advice on specific topics such as Disaster Relief, Police & Firefighter Appeals, Car & Used Goods Donations, Charity Sweepstakes, Child Sponsorship and more. (Council of Better Business Bureau, Inc.)

Charity Navigator – Rates the financial health of thousands of charities. If you register (free) you can also receive an occasional e-newsletter, suggest groups you would like to see evaluated, and keep track of charities that interest you. The site also offers special reports on topics of current interest to donors, as well as Tips for Donors, and a report on charities’ CEO Compensation, most recently done in 2016. (Non-profit organization; site includes advertisements)

Charity Scams – “If you’re thinking about giving to a charity, do your research to avoid fraudsters who try to take advantage of your generosity. Here are tips to help make sure that your charitable contributions actually go to the cause you support.” See also Charity Scams Follow Hurricane’s Wake  [NEW!] (Federal Trade Commission).

Charity Watch – Another site that evaluates charities, as well as offering tips and articles for donors. (American Institute of Philanthropy)

Consumer Reports Best and Worst Charities for Your Donations [NEW!] – Offers a list of some of the highest- and lowest-rated charities in a number of categories, as well as general advice on donating wisely. (December 2017)

GiveWell – An independent, non-profit charity evaluator that assesses how well programs actually work, rather than focusing on financial factors. GiveWell is focused on finding “a small number of outstanding giving opportunities” rather than rating large numbers of charities. Click here to learn more about GiveWell’s evaluation process.

GreatNonprofits – Reviews and ratings “by people who have been touched by a nonprofit and want to share their story about it… you’ll discover stories of people who have volunteered or donated to nonprofits, as well as stories of people who have benefited from their services.” [NOTE: All reviews posted on GreatNonprofits are individual, subjective opinions, and any user’s experience with a given organization may or may not be typical. Content posted by Users is not reviewed by GreatNonprofits.]

GuideStar – ‘The donor’s guide to the charitable universe.’ A searchable database of 1.9 million U.S. non-profit organizations and foundations. Provides financial and management information derived from IRS Form 990 or IRS Form 990EZ. Includes links to each charity’s website, where available. Also offers Five Simple Steps to Better Giving, plus a blog for non-profit managers. NOTE: Free registration is required for full access.

New Jersey Charities – Use this site to check on the status of charities operating within the state (New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, Charities Registration Section). For resources in other states, see NASCO (National Association of State Charity Officials).

Pro Publica Nonprofit Explorer – ‘Use this database to search over 1.8 million tax returns from tax-exempt organizations and see financial details such as their executive compensation and revenue and expenses.’

Too Many Solicitations? – Is your mailbox bursting with frequent requests for charitable donations? This page from Charity Watch offers help to reduce the flow, including a Fundraising Reduction Notice form you can send to organizations. For more advice on dealing with aggressive fundraisers, read Charity Navigator’s articles on How to Stop Solicitations by Mail and What To Do When A Charity Calls, Give.org’s advice on Telephone Appeals and Charity Mailing List Removal.

Links updated October 28, 2018.

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