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JIM - If you choose to give, give wisely

(This isn't intended as a comprehensive guide to charitable giving, nor is intended as legal advice.)
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"Kentuckians generously donate their time and money to hundreds of deserving charitable organizations. However, some organizations use fraudulent and deceptive means when soliciting the public for contributions. If you choose to give, give wisely." (emphasis added)

So states the Kentucky Attorney General's web page of tips about charitable giving (the link to this and other web sources cited appear together, below.) For anyone considering donating to an unknown (or even a known, non-local) charity, this page contains a wealth of information.

I would add this: if the caller hesitates, equivocates, or refuses to answer any of your questions, don't pass go, don't collect the proverbial two hundred dollars. Simply hang up. If your questions are answered and you're still uncertain, tell the caller you'll get back in touch later.

Another great link at the Kentucky Attorney General's office site is the listing of charitable organizations registered in the state. (Any such organization using a professional solicitor is required by law to register.) This page also links to brief discussions about "what you can learn" and "how to read" the information in the listings; these are well worth perusing before looking at the listing itself. Of particular interest is the percentage of the donated monies that go toward the intended charitable activity. (For some -- many -- the amount is distressingly low.)

The Charity Navigator site presents considerably more detailed information on a national scale about both public and private charities. (Not all charities choose to respond to CN's requests for information, and some don't keep their information updated.)

Their "Methodology" page details how charities are rated, and the "Top 10 Best Practices of Savvy Donors" information is quite excellent.

This story was posted on 2017-03-05 05:55:42
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