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How to Give to the Right Charities and Avoid Fraud

With the holidays approaching, charities traditionally gear up their campaigns for year-end giving. You may have favorite organizations that you donate to every year, or there may be some that grab your attention and you feel the urge to give. Before you do, be sure you check them out so your gift gets into the right hands. Here are some guidelines:

Investigate – use the Internet to research the charity by going to sites like or the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance.

Look out for sound-alike charities – some scammers use like-sounding names of legitimate charities to trick donors.

Make sure the charity qualifies for IRS tax deductions – go to the IRS Exempt Organizations Select Check website to make sure the charity is eligible for tax-deductible contributions.

Watch out for “instant” charities – be wary of charities that pop up as the result of a natural disaster.

Be wary of solicitations from police and firefighters – usually conducted by phone, these solicitations are usually not legitimate.

Check the finances – pay attention to a charity’s financial information and make sure their overhead is not out of line.

Pay by check – and make the check out to the charity, not the person soliciting the donation.

Get a receipt – you need a receipt or cancelled check to deduct contributions on your tax return. If the donation exceeds $250, you need a written acknowledgement from the charity.

Don’t give to cold callers – tell callers to put the request in writing and send it to you.

A qualified Florida estate planning attorney can help you determine the best gifting strategies to protect and preserve your assets; to learn more, contact our Florida law firm for your free consultation.

Categories: Estate Planning, Asset Protection
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The Dorcey Law Firm, PLC - Fort Myers Attorney
Located at 10181 Six Mile Cypress Pkwy, Suite C, Fort Myers, FL 33966
Phone: (239) 330-6674
Local Phone: (239) 418-0169