Donors Corner:

Ensuring your contribution is used appropriately- by Michael Nilsen, senior director of public affairs at Association of Fundraising Professionals

It happens to us all. You get the phone call, a letter, an email or a knock on the door. A charity is asking for your support, but you’re not sure. Perhaps you’ve never heard of the organization, or you’re uncertain about its impact and effectiveness. Is it even legitimate? The good news is that 99.99 percent of all charitable organizations you’ll encounter are legitimate and work hard to provide critical services and programs. Charity fraud, while it often gets headlines, is actually very rare, according to the Federal Trade Commission. But that still doesn’t mean you won’t have questions, and you should! Especially in a challenging economy, it’s important that your hard-earned dollars go to worthy organizations. Fortunately, there are some common-sense tips and guidelines that donors can use when considering making a charitable gift…

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