published july 2023
We can help to give with confidence.
Giving to charity can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience.
Unfortunately, there are charity scams that prey on people’s generosity. That makes choosing a charity wisely even more important.
Here are a few things to keep in mind while you look for the right fit for you.
Do your research.
A legitimate charity must have a precise and clear mission statement and provides information about how donations are used to support that mission.
Genuine charities are generally registered with the government at either the state or federal level. You can verify the organization's registration status online or by reaching out to your state's charity regulator – typically the Secretary of State.
Looking at reviews of the charity online is another way to gain insight.
Resources you can use.
- Check the charity's ratings on platforms like Charity Navigator or Guidestar.
- Look into its finances using ProPublica to find its IRS Form 990.
- The Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance has free reviews of 1,300 national charities.
Avoid red flags.
You may think it’s easy to spot red flags, but sometimes it gets tricky. Here are some signs:
- The charity rushes you to donate or asks for personal information before giving you details about its mission.
- You get uninvited donation requests, especially through phone calls and emails.
- It can’t provide you with precise information about its initiatives and achievements.
Now that you know some of the warning signs of what could be charity fraud, you can confidently choose the one that aligns with your values.
STCU is committed to making a positive difference in the communities we serve. As part of this commitment, we support a wide range of charities and nonprofits through our Here for Good Foundation. Curious about the organizations we support or how to request a grant? You can find those details on our Here for Good Foundation page.