are millions of organizations represented on the Internet - organizations
that you might turn to for information, support, services, or to make a contribution.
While most of them are probably good folks doing good things quite legally,
some may not be. How can you tell? Anyone can establish a web site, even a
web site with an "org" at the end. Here are some resources that
can help you find out more about nonprofit organizations online and off.
Institute of Philanthropy (AIP)
- Calling itself "a
nationally prominent charity watchdog service whose purpose is to help donors
make informed giving decisions," AIP offers ratings that are based in
large part on a groups willingness to provide serious donors with basic
documents such as annual reports, complete audited financial statements, and
Internal Revenue Service form 990. Articles, tips, and related information
are also included.
- BBB Wise Giving
- "The Alliance reports
on nationally soliciting charitable organizations that are the subject of
donor inquiries. These reports include an evaluation of the subject charity
in relation to the 23 provisions of the voluntary CBBB Standards for Charitable
Solicitations. The BBB Wise Giving Alliance also offers guidance on making
informed giving decisions and publishes the quarterly Better Business Bureau
Wise Giving Guide."
- "This website is a
simple way for federal employees and anyone else to learn about more than
240 charities." The sites listed all participate in the federal government's
Combined Federal Campaign, which means they have met 10 accountability standards.
- "GuideStar is a searchable
database of more than 640,000 nonprofit organizations in the United States.
Type a name in the Charity Search box to find your favorite charity, or use
the Advanced Search to find a charity by subject, state, zip code, or other
criteria." Guidestar gets its financial information from the IRS Business
Master File of 501(c)(3) nonprofits, the IRS Form 990 or 990 EZ, which are
financial returns filed by nonprofits with more than $25,000 annual revenue,
and the GuideStar Basic Financial Statement, a form for nonprofits that do
not file with the IRS.
- A project of "Action
without Borders," Idealist maintains a database of 20,000 organizations
in 140 countries. The [Verified] flag by the name of an organization means
that the organization has submitted a copy of its IRS 501(c)(3) determination
letter, or its latest newsletter or brochure.
(c) 1997-2013 Disability Resources, inc.