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Practical Money Matters Radio Series

September 26, 2011
Choosing Charities Wisely

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Get smart tips on ensuring that your charities of choice are legitimate and deserving of your support.


If you make charitable contributions or volunteer your time, make sure the charities deserve your support. Here are a few tips:

First, look for organizations that apply at least 75 percent of contributions to programs that help beneficiaries. Study the group's website, annual report and mission statement, and speak to staff members to gauge their efficiency. You can also see ratings for popular nonprofits at

Never pledge money over the phone or by email unless you initiated the contact. And finally, your charitable contributions‐including mileage for driving to volunteer jobs–may be tax deductible. Check the rules in Tax Topic 506 at

Bottom line: Your donations can make a huge impact–just make sure it's a worthy organization.

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