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Thread: Checking out charities?

  1. #1
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    Checking out charities?

    Does anyone know of a web site similar to the Better Business Bureau, where you can find out if a charity is legitimate and whether it's got any complaints against it?

    At this time of year, I'm receiving requests/suggestions for donations. Generally I donate to our local food pantry, but am considering widening my horizons.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    If you Google "charity ratings" you'll come up with some. This is the top one: http://www.charitynavigator.org/
    I looked up a couple of my favorite charities, and came up empty because one is based in Canada, and the other doesn't meet their million dollars in donations requirement. Givewell.org and charitywatch.org are another two.

    I use this kind of thing occasionally, but since I tend to give to local animal charities that operate under the radar of these watchdogs, I have to decide based on their indivdual outcomes.

    Charity Navigator does rate the Oregon Humane Society four stars (out of four) with a 95.43%.

  3. #3
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    www.charitywatch.org is another one.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

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    Thanks!!

  5. #5
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    Your best bet is to determine who interests you and investigate them. We invest all our charitable contributions locally. We know how the money is spent and receive reports/updates. The world needs help while we choose to go local. We like the visibility.

  6. #6
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    I have money withheld from each paycheck, pretax, and year round, for our hospital foundation. I know that I'm paying for a couple of pairs of cheap shoes every two weeks for our patients who have nothing - many are homeless when admitted to our department.

    And I gave several times to Bernie's campaign.

    That's the extent of my giving lately. Other than money straight from my hand to my kids or friends who need something. I've stopped trusting corporations.

  7. #7
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    We agree with Gardnr. Get to know your locals. Find out what they do and how they feel about the donations. We heavily support a low cost spay/nueter clinic and a wheelchair ramp building group. The clinic helps stop the problem of overpopulation before it gets going and the ramps help people get out of their homes. One woman had been in her home for 5 years. Only when an ambulance came for a hospital visit did she get out. Other caregivers struggle to help those that have mobility issues.

    We also support with money and time, Habitat for Humanity in our local area. They build/remodel/restore 25-30 homes a year. Keeps hubby really busy and feeling productive in retirement.

    Each of these groups can really squeak a nickel.

  8. #8
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    There is also always the option of donating time - it's often easier to see what you're donating to when you're next to or just one step away from the end product.

  9. #9
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gardnr View Post
    Your best bet is to determine who interests you and investigate them. We invest all our charitable contributions locally. We know how the money is spent and receive reports/updates. The world needs help while we choose to go local. We like the visibility.
    Bingo! That's my approach as well. The only national organization to get my money is Elephant Sanctuary, and that is essentially because we dont have a local elephant rescue.

    My giving priotities are animals and buildngs.

    For the arts, I buy tickets and memberships, but I havent donated in recent years.

    This political year caused me to send moneynto my facorite senator in another state, but that is a one time thing.

    I don't give to human endeavors. Last spring I slipped up and sent $100 to a GoFundMe effort for a young family whose father and husband was dying of cancer. This was kind of guilt money since I read about her on a website that had, umm, divided opinion on if her husband was really sick and did they really need the money. As it turns out he WAS sick and he died, leaving 5 children and a 25 year old widow. But lo and behold, 10 weeks later she married another man, and we find that her house and cars are completely paid for. So I don't know, grifter? I am back to giving only to animals and buildings.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Simplemind's Avatar
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    I love doing time because I have it now. We have been delivering for Meals on Wheels for the past three years. We have become very attached to our peeps and some feel like family because we see them more often. Often we are the only food and people they see. It is a very up close and personal way to know you are really providing for people truly in need. I love baking and putting gift baskets together for them and their pets during the holiday season.
    My other volunteer job has asked us to put up fundraising pages through our FB accounts. We are to write a biography on ourselves and why we chose to do this work for them (trauma intervention) and ask for donations. Although they are wonderful and provide a service that nobody knows they need until they need it, I just can't fund raise that way. I would rather write them a check for the minimum $150 they are asking us to raise on Giving Tuesday. I never let my kid sell school crap door to door either but that is another story. I like local food banks as well. We have a huge homeless population in our area.

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