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The team from Charity Navigator, the nation's largest independent charity evaluator and leading donor advocate, shares their thoughts on emerging nonprofit-sector issues and offers tips to better inform your intelligent giving decisions.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Don't Forget To Do Your Research

We have said many times before that it is important for donors to do their due diligence, and research the organizations that are asking for their support. The most recent example of why we keep repeating this advice is the Coalition for Breast Cancer Cures (CBCC) in Long Island, which found its doors shut down by the Attorney General’s office.

The Attorney General’s Office investigation showed that CBCC took in plenty of money, yet did not conduct any charitable activities. At least $500,000 has been defrauded, with generous donors left bewildered and demoralized. CBCC was aided by a professional fundraising firm, The Resource Hub, which was not authorized to solicit funds in New York State. In addition, even though CBCC listed a tax-ID number on their phony solicitations, they are not recognized by the IRS as a charitable organization.

What should donors take away from this? Do your research. Use independent sources like Charity Navigator and the IRS to confirm that an organization is registered as a 501(c)(3), and that it is using your donations for the purpose it claims. As always, if a professional fundraiser calls you, we suggest you ask for information in writing, and if you wish to support the cause, donate to the organization directly, bypassing the telemarketer all together.

As a 501 (c) (3) organization itself, Charity Navigator depends on public support to help donors make informed choices. Please consider investing in the future of Charity Navigator by making a donation today.  Donate now >>

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