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Check charities before donating on Giving Tuesday

Check charities before donating on Giving Tuesday
Posted at 3:56 PM, Nov 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-26 15:56:00-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam is offering tips to help Floridians make the most of their charitable contributions in advance of Giving Tuesday. 

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services helps Floridians maximize their donations by providing detailed information on charities registered in Florida. 

They said Floridians should take the following steps when preparing to make a charitable contribution: 

  • Check-A-Charity Before Donating: Use the department’s Check-A-Charity tool at FloridaConsumerHelp.com to view a charity's financial information, how contributions are being spent and current registration status, or call 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352).
  • Watch out for Scams: Scammers take advantage of people’s generosity by pretending to be a real charity to commit fraud. Frequently, bogus charities will exploit a recent natural disaster or tragedy, such as a hurricane, and promise to use the donations to aid victims. It is also important not to judge a charity solely on its name, as many organizations may use names similar to well-known charities and organizations.
  • Keep Good Records: Always obtain and save a printed copy of a donation or a receipt of the contribution amount. Not all organizations soliciting in the name of benevolence are true charities eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions. Ask about the organization's federal and state eligibility for receiving tax deductible donations. Typically, such donations fall under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3). 

For more information about individual charities, check out the Check-A-Charity tool.