If you are suspicious of an organization or believe you have become a victim of a charity scam, several web sites and organizations can help and are listed below.
There are public sources available to assist in determining whether a specific charity is legitimately registered with the appropriate state and federal agencies. To locate information such as exempt status, financial filings and other pertinent details, you can refer to our Knowledge Base article, How can I find information about a particular (non-grantmaking) charity?
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides an online Charity Checklist with useful advice designed to help you determine whether the charity in question is a legitimate one.
Have a question about this topic? Ask us!Candid's Online Librarian service will answer your questions within two business days.
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Explore resources curated by our staff for this topic:
- Staff pick Federal Trade Commission
Avoid Charity Scams
Information to help donors give wisely. Links to other charity-monitoring organizations.
- Staff pick
BBB Wise Giving Alliance
Collects and distributes information on hundreds of nonprofit organizations that solicit nationally or that have national or international program services. Site includes: Charity Reports and Standards; Tips on Giving; and an online process to file an inquiry or complaint about a charity.
- Federal Trade Commission
Before Giving to a Charity
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation's consumer protection agency, recommends taking these precautions to ensure that your donation dollars benefit the people and organizations you want to help.
- National Consumers League
A great place to learn how not to be a victim. Offers specific info on different kinds of fraud and provides an online complaint form to report suspected fraudulent activity.
- US Government
Grant Fraud and Scams
Information on grant fraud from the US government.
Allows you to read firsthand reviews by a nonprofits' clients, volunteers, and other stakeholders.
- Staff pick IRS
How Do You Report Suspected Tax Fraud Activity?
If you suspect or know of an individual or organization that is not complying with the tax laws, you may report this activity by completing Form 3949-A.
National Association of State Charity Officials (NASCO)
Links to state offices that regulate charitable organizations and charitable solicitations.
- Venable LLP
Preventing and Investigating Fraud,Embezzlement,and Charitable Asset Diversion: What's a Nonprofit Board to Do?
A lengthy, detailed guide to investigating or preventing fraud or embezzlement in a nonprofit. Written by a lawyer with a lot of nonprofit experience.
- Harbor Compliance
State Charitable Solicitation Authorities
This table provides contact information for the agency in each state that monitors charitable solicitation by nonprofit organizations or fundraising consultants.
- Staff pick IRS
Tax Exempt Organization Search
Online search tool that allows users to select an exempt organization and check information about: its eligibility to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions; automatic revocation of tax-exempt status for not filing 990s; whether it has filed a Form 990-N.
Thanks to Spudwife for the forward! and thanks to: https://learning.candid.org