How can you check out an organization’s status? The easiest way is to investigate it online. Here are three top resources.
1. IRS web site: The IRS maintains a list of tax-exempt organizations. You can access the list in Publication 78, Cumulative List of Organizations. If you have other questions, contact the IRS at (800) 829-1040 or obtain copies of Publication 526, Charitable Contributions, and Publication 561, Determining the Value of Donated Property.
2. Other web sites: Search out and evaluate more than 700,000 charities at GuideStar. Other good sources are CharitableWay and the National Center for Charitable Statistics.
3. Better Business Bureau: The BBB provides a wealth of information at www.bbb.org/charity. It also publishes a “Wise Giving Guide” evaluating hundreds of charities.
Tip: Just having an “.org” extension isn’t enough. Don’t make unwarranted assumptions about charities.
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