Before you donate to any group, make sure it’s an IRS-recognized charity or nonprofit.
Not every group that looks, sounds or feels like a charity is truly a charity. Scam “charities” often adopt names similar to legitimate charities, siphoning off dollars needed for good works. Scam “charities” do double damage – they steal from you, and they steal from those you want to help.
The fastest way to check a group’s identity is to get and check the group’s EIN (employer identification number). An EIN is typically a nine-digit number, shown like 12-3456789.
- Every nonprofit has an EIN, which it obtains by applying to the IRS.
- EINs are like charity license plate numbers, intended to be public unlike individual Social Security Numbers.
Even among IRS-recognized nonprofits, organization names can be confusingly similar. You might be donating to a charity, but it might not be the one you intended.
- We searched CharityCheck101.org for “habitat for humanity” and found 1,228 nonprofits in January 2022.
- Searched for “boy” and found 4,790, while and “girl” produced 6,233.
- Then we searched for “veteran” and found 17,275!
But no two charities have the same EIN. EINs are the key to checking charity identity.
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