How to check a charity’s legitimacy ahead of Giving Tuesday

Charity Navigator urges donors to research the charities they're giving to this year.
Charity Navigator urges donors to research the charities they're giving to this year.(KOLD News 13)
Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 9:28 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Millions of people participate in Giving Tuesday each year. It’s a day dedicated to giving back and supporting non-profits.

Last year’s Giving Tuesday was record-breaking. Nearly $2.5 was donated to U.S. charities, according to Charity Navigator an organization that evaluates non-profits.

To make sure your precious dollars go where you want them to the Chief Relationship Officer for Charity Navigator, Kevin Scally, has several recommendations.

“To not just give with your heart but to give with your head,” Scally said. “You can do that by making sure the organization you’re supporting is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit.”

Next find out the EIN or employee identification number which allows you to search the organization on the IRS website or Charity Navigator. The Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona received a 100% rating for finance and accountability.

“We like to keep things very transparent and accountable and ensure we are meeting our community members where they are,” said Adriana Gallego, the executive director for the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona.

The Arts Foundation supports local artists like Ruben Urrea Moreno.

“The arts foundation has awarded me a few grants in the past couple of decades and I’ve always been super grateful for them,” said Moreno.

He’s painted for more than 20 years.

“I’m a narratives artist. I like to tell stories through my paintings. It’s usually involving many figures,” he said.

Giving Tuesday is a major fundraising day for many non-profits and a way to spread some holiday cheer this season.

“Invest directly in the artists and creative thinkers that are out their making our world more beautiful, more memorable and certainly help us ensure we have an imaginative future to look forward to,” Gallego said.

Charity Navigator recommends asking about an organization’s mission and history of success. If these questions can’t be answered, it might be a red flag.

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