While it would have been better to send this email prior to the season of giving, also known as the season of profits for retailers, it is better late than never.

In December my wife and I donated about $32,000 to various charities, and it is important to know where your donations are going and how they are used. This will be a short and important article for any of your future donations.

Please be aware there are disgusting people who will set up a charity to enrich themselves. While I do not list any in the 2015 revised edition of my Wealth On Any Income book, they were listed in my first three editions. Examples of these fraudulent charities that have familiar sounding names:

American Institute for Cancer Research (To sound like the American Cancer Society)
National Children’s Cancer Society
Center for Advanced Heart Research
Center for Alternative Cancer Research
United Children’s Fund
National Cancer Research Institute
A Child’s Wish (To sound like Make a Wish Foundation)

Here are two sources to check on charities before you make your donations:

Charity Navigator https://www.charitynavigator.org
Charity Watch https://www.charitywatch.org

There are a few others that can be trusted, but this is a good start.

And here are the guidelines you can use for your evaluation:

  • Verify it is a legitimate charity: Confirm it is a tax exempt entity under 501(c )3
  • Find out how your donation will be used
  • See if their program services are at least 65% of their budget

The fraudulent charities I listed above might have 90% go to staff, officers and fundraising, and only 10% to programs.

To your prosperity and charity,