'Tis the season of giving, and Giving Tuesday marks an opportunity for people everywhere to support the local nonprofits making their communities a better place.
Idaho has hundreds of local non-profits supporting a myriad of different causes. Idaho News 6 introduced you to several of them back in May during Idaho Gives.
Just one, Community Cakes, might just be the sweetest nonprofit. Volunteer bakers work to make sure everyone gets the gift of cake on their birthday, often while the recipient is dealing with difficult situations.
We also introduced you to the Boise Choruses, a group dedicated to creating a space of love and music for everyone.
Watch out for name similarities. When charities seek support for the same cause, their names are often similar. Before you give, be sure you have the exact name of the charity to avoid a case of mistaken identity.
Review the website carefully. A responsible charity’s website will include information on its mission and programs, measurable goals and a thorough description of its achievements. You should also be able to find a detailed account of their finances. Keep in mind, the type of work a charity does will affect its costs.
Avoid on-the-spot donation decisions from unfamiliar organizations. The holidays bring a higher frequency of instant donation requests, like the ones you may encounter at a storefront. Don’t succumb to any unnecessary pressure. Responsible organizations will welcome your gift tomorrow as much as they do today.
Be wary of emotional appeals. Marketers have been known to exploit the holidays using emotional pleas. Instead of making an impulse decision based on an impulse reaction, do some research to verify your selected charity operates ethically.
Rely on standards-based evaluations. Charities can demonstrate their trustworthiness by agreeing to in-depth evaluations, such as the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability. Get free access to charity reports at Give.org.
Research tax status. Don’t assume every organization claiming to do good is a tax-exempt charity. You can check an organization’s tax status with the IRS Tax Exempt Organization Search tool. Also, make sure your contribution is tax deductible.