Year-End Charitable Giving

Wed 12-28-2016

(Undated)-- There are more than one-and-a-half million charitable organizations in the United States, so it can be tough to figure out which ones to choose for your end-of-year donations. Attorney Beverly Salhanick has this advice: first, familiarize yourself with the group's mission and find out exactly how it tackles the problem. Next look online for information from other sources about the charity, to see what others are saying about it. Then, she says it's helpful to check out the sites that grade charities. Charitable giving01 

"Then you want to look at '' or at '' Both of those rate the charities and act as watchdogs, to make sure that they're doing what they say they're going to do." 

These sites also will tell you what percentage of donation money actually goes to the organization's mission, versus how much is used for administration.

The average Iowan who itemizes deductions reported giving more than 35-hundred dollars to charity in one recent year, according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics.  Salhanick adds that the Better Business Bureau is another source of information, to see if the organization has any complaints lodged against it. And it's smart to check whether the group is actually considered a charity... Charitable giving02 

"You can go to the Internal Revenue Service website and see if it's a 501(c)(3) organization, or you can check at ''" 

You can also search for data about any nonprofit group on the Iowa Attorney General's website, which maintains a registry of charitable organizations licensed by the state.

(Courtesy Iowa News Service)