How to Evaluate a Charity

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Appeals for financial and material donations are solicited by countless charitable organizations. Donors who want to research a charity before donating have several options.

PUBLIC CHARITIES UNIT
All charities soliciting donations from Connecticut residents are required to register with the Public Charities Unit administered by the State of Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP). Connecticut residents can call the Public Charities Information Unit at (860) 713-6170. Further information can also be found at the Attorney General’s web site:  http://www.ct.gov/ag/cwp/view.asp?a=4424&q=520630 or the DCP web site: http://ct.gov/dcp/cwp/view.asp?a=1654&q=459952

THE BBB WISE GIVING ALLIANCE
The BBB (Better Business Bureau) Wise Giving Alliance collects and distributes information on nonprofit organizations that solicit nationally or have national or international program services. Local chapters of the BBB also report on organizations who conduct local or regional fund raising efforts. Reports on local and national charities can be found at the BBB web site: www.give.org/

CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL DISASTER INFORMATION
The Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) provides information and guidance on the best way to help support relief efforts following disasters around the world.  The CIDI web site offers guidelines for making financial and material donations to relief agencies working with international disaster victims: www.cidi.org/

CHARITY NAVIGATOR
Charity Navigator evaluates national charities granted tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and that file a Form 990. Evaluations are based on the financial status of the charities and are available to the public. Further information can be found at the web site: www.charitynavigator.org/

CHARITYWATCH
CharityWatch researches and evaluates nonprofit organizations, analyzes audited financial statements of charities, and gives tips for wise giving. Further information can be found at their web site: www.charitywatch.org

GUIDESTAR
GuideStar offers donors information on nonprofit charities provided by charitable agencies and reports of IRS-registered 501(c)(3) organizations that are eligible to receive tax-deductible donations. GuideStar does not evaluate listed organizations. Further information can be found at the web site: www.guidestar.org

TO FIND PROVIDERS IN CONNECTICUT’S COMMUNITY RESOURCES DATABASE:
Search by agency names:
BBB Wise Giving Alliance
Center for International Disaster Information
Charity Navigator

Search by service name: Charity Information

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SOURCES: BBB Wise Giving Alliance website; Center for International Disaster Information website; Charity Navigator website; CharityWatch website; Public Charities Information Unit – State of Connecticut  Department of Consumer Protection
PREPARED BY: 211/pt
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: July2017