Investigate Before Giving

Attor­ney Gen­eral Mike DeWine is offer­ing char­i­ta­ble giv­ing tips for those who plan to donate to this hol­i­day sea­son.

DeWine encour­ages Ohioans to deter­mine in advance which char­ity or char­i­ties to sup­port. He says most char­i­ta­ble orga­ni­za­tions that oper­ate in Ohio or here for dona­tions must file with the Ohio Attor­ney General’s Office, and more than 36,000 orga­ni­za­tions have so far done just that.

When research­ing char­i­ties, the Attor­ney Gen­eral rec­om­mends that you do the fol­low­ing:

• Check com­pli­ance with the Ohio Attor­ney General’s Office. Visit www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or call 800–282-0515.

• Ver­ify the organization’s tax-exempt sta­tus with the IRS.

• View the organization’s IRS Form 990 through the GuideStar web­site, www.guidestar.org.

• Gather data from watch­dog groups includ­ing the Bet­ter Busi­ness Bureau Wise Giv­ing Alliance, Char­ity Nav­i­ga­tor and Char­ity Watch.

• Do a basic Inter­net search to review a group’s accom­plish­ments or ques­tion­able activity.

• Con­tact the orga­ni­za­tion itself and find out how your dona­tion will be used.

Finally, if you sus­pect ques­tion­able char­ity activ­ity, con­tact the Ohio Attor­ney General’s Office.

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