Donating To Charities - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Donating To Charities

Nov. 24, 2008

Atlanta-Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel offers the following advice to individuals planning to donate to charities during the holiday season.

"Donators should thoroughly research a charity before giving to ensure funds are being used for the stated cause, and that it is a legitimate charity organization," Secretary Handel said.

Secretary Handel issued the following tips for charitable giving:

  • It is important to research charities before you contribute. The percentage of your contribution that a charity spends on fundraising activities, employee salaries, other expenses and the charity's stated mission varies greatly by organization.
  • A number of online resources can help you research charities. The Better Business Bureau (give.org) and GuideStar (guidestar.org) provide detailed information about nonprofit organizations. Also, take time to review the organization's own website.
  • In addition, many charities must register with the Georgia Secretary of State's office. You can research charities at the Secretary of State's website (sos.state.gov/securities).  
  • Be wary of telephone solicitors asking for contributions. If you are solicited by phone, ask that the individual put their request in writing and provide complete information about the charitable program. Also, ask if the person conducting the solicitation is a volunteer or a paid solicitor.
  • Never give your credit card, debit card or bank account information to a telephone solicitor.
  • If a tax deduction is important to you, make sure the organization has a tax deductible status with the IRS. The IRS website (irs.gov/charities) has a searchable database of organizations eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions. Make sure you get a receipt which shows the amount of your contribution and states that the contribution is tax deductible.
  • Many charitable solicitors ask for contributions of clothing, other household items and vehicles. IRS rules concerning valuations and receipts have changed significantly; be sure you understand them completely (irs.gov/charities/contributors).
  • Not all organizations with charitable sounding names are actually charities. Many organizations adopt names confusingly similar to well-known charities. Be sure you know exactly who is asking for your contribution.
  • Watch out for organizations that use questionable techniques such as sending unordered merchandise or invoices after you have turned them down for a donation. You are under no obligation to pay for or return items received under these circumstances. Be particularly cautious of couriers willing to rush out to your home or office to pick up your contribution.

Anyone with more questions can call the Georgia Secretary of State's Securities and Business Regulation Division, which oversees charities, at (404) 656-3920.

Courtesy Georgia Secretary of State

  • LocalMore>>

  • Columbus man files lawsuit against MCSD in 2016 hit and run involving school bus

    Columbus man files lawsuit against MCSD in 2016 hit and run involving school bus

    Saturday, August 18 2018 12:37 PM EDT2018-08-18 16:37:14 GMT
    A lawsuit filed against the MCSD claims a school bus driver hit two cars and left the scene. (Source: WTVM)A lawsuit filed against the MCSD claims a school bus driver hit two cars and left the scene. (Source: WTVM)

    A Columbus man is taking legal action against the Muscogee County School District in a hit and run accident that happened two years ago.

    More >>

    A Columbus man is taking legal action against the Muscogee County School District in a hit and run accident that happened two years ago.

    More >>
  • UPDATE: 2 dead 1 injured after a shooting at a single apartment in Auburn

    UPDATE: 2 dead 1 injured after a shooting at a single apartment in Auburn

    Saturday, August 18 2018 12:25 PM EDT2018-08-18 16:25:08 GMT
    Auburn Police Division are still investigating the incident.  (Source: AP Graphics)Auburn Police Division are still investigating the incident. (Source: AP Graphics)

    Saturday, Aug. 18 at approximately 3:45 a.m. Auburn Police responded to the 800 block of N. Donahue Dr. in reference to a shooting.  Upon arrival officers located three individuals that had been injured in an apartment.  One female was suffering from a minor injury, a male suffered a life-threatening injury, another male was dead at the time of arrival.  All injuries were a result of the shooting. The two victims were transported to East Alabama Medical Center for tr...

    More >>

    Saturday, Aug. 18 at approximately 3:45 a.m. Auburn Police responded to the 800 block of N. Donahue Dr. in reference to a shooting.  Upon arrival officers located three individuals that had been injured in an apartment.  One female was suffering from a minor injury, a male suffered a life-threatening injury, another male was dead at the time of arrival.  All injuries were a result of the shooting. The two victims were transported to East Alabama Medical Center for tr...

    More >>
  • Columbus man's arms to be amputated after mauled by pit bulls

    Columbus man's arms to be amputated after mauled by pit bulls

    Friday, August 17 2018 11:26 PM EDT2018-08-18 03:26:23 GMT
    A Columbus man is fighting for his life in the hospital after being attacked by three pit bulls. (Source: WTVM)A Columbus man is fighting for his life in the hospital after being attacked by three pit bulls. (Source: WTVM)
    A Columbus man is fighting for his life in the hospital after being attacked by three pit bulls. (Source: WTVM)A Columbus man is fighting for his life in the hospital after being attacked by three pit bulls. (Source: WTVM)

    A Columbus man has to have his arms amputated after being attacked by three pit bulls.

    More >>

    A Columbus man has to have his arms amputated after being attacked by three pit bulls.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly