Hurricane Harvey has caused havoc to Texas and the Gulf Coast and Hurricane Irma is pounding it’s way toward our southeastern coast as we write. Our hearts go out to all the individuals, families, pets, businesses, churches and organizations that are or that may be impacted by Mother Nature. We all want to help, but we must also do our homework to avoid those who wish to take advantage of the goodness of human nature.
Whether donating with cash or with non-cash donations like food, clothing, equipment and medical supplies, the charities we give to much these donations with the IRS and certain state agencies. It’s not something we want to consider, but some charities report the value of non-cash donations higher than what is reasonable to help hide high fundraising and administrative costs, and other “charity-like” groups are simply frauds.
There are many resources related to charities and tips to make sure that your charitable contributions actually go to the cause you support. For a comprehensive list of trusted charities, a list of known scam alerts, and an article that describes what to do before giving can be found on the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information site.
A trusted source that we recommend is Charity Navigator. They are an up-to-date resource for all current events in the world that need our help from mudslides in Sierra Leone to those close to home like Hurricane Harvey. Hopefully, they will not be adding Florida or any other gulf states to their Hot Topics list.
“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” Mother Teresa