Hurricane Harvey broke rain fall and flood record and Hurricane Irma looks like it may be the worst storm in Florida in over 50 years. My hopes and prays go out to anyone in the path of these storms. As a result of this tons of charities are popping up and asking for money and you need to watch out for charity fraud.
I love charity and I even spent time on a commodity focusing on where to donate money. During that time I learned a lot including that there are a lot of bad charities out there. Unfortunately, there are bad people in this world that will take advantage of disastrous so it is a good idea to be informed before you start giving away your hard earned money.
The thing to look for is how much money actually goes to the cause. By law, all charity organizations have to post this info. One easy place to find this info is Charity Watch. When I was on that commodity we refused to donate to any charity that has more than a 10% overhead. This means they kept more than $0.10 from every $1.00 donated. But depending on the type of charity that may be unreasonable. We were strict with the money we gave out. Sending truckloads of supplies all the way across the country or doing search and rescue may have an overhead more than 10%. I am not an expert logistic cost so I cannot speak to that.
The other thing we checked was to make sure they were a 501(c)3 charity. That just means they are an official charity as far as the government is concerned. If the organization you want to donate to is not a 501(c)3 then watch out. Now there are other types of nonprofits under the tax code like 501(c)4 and 501(c)19 but I do not know much about these.
I hope this helps you use your money wisely and kudos to you for helping others out! If you need a place to start looking I would suggest God’s Pit Crew. I have met them in person and they are a good bunch of people. Plus 97% of what you donate is going to disaster relief.