How to Check if a Non-Profit is Legitimate?

You may be enjoying the festive season or looming with the year-end tax deadline. Now, it seems to be the best time to give back to society through charitable contributions. First, but deciding where to offer and how to check if a non-profit is legitimate.

We have prepared the right and easy tips to follow to know if a charity or non-profit is legit in this quick read. The first thing to decide while contributing is where to give or donate! So, keeping it as the first thing for any significant contribution here is its whole idea.


Whom to give?

Sometimes, people choose contributions and donations which are tax-deductible. So, ensure before giving that the organization accepts deductible contributions and grants. If the non-profit is authorized for tax deductibles, it will provide benefits on next year’s taxes.

How to find one legit non-profit?

IRS has effectively qualified governments and religious organizations to receive contributions and donations. Following are some of the organizations that can receive gifts, apart from charities and non-profits.

  • War veteran organizations
  • Domestic fraternal societies
  • War veteran organizations
  • Trusts, funds, or other corporations that belong to the United States solely operate to impart education, charity, religion, literature, science, etc.

Now, it’s time to check if a non-profit is legitimate. So, starting with the first things, we are all ready to know which organization are frauds and needs a heads-up.

Things to check to know to check if a non-profit is legitimate?

·  All legitimate charities and non-profits have Employer Identification Number (EINs)

Also, these numbers are known as Tax-ID numbers. Also, know that having an EIN doesn’t mean that the charity is tax-exempt, or your donation can be tax-deductible. It is only one sign which lets you know that the IRS knows about that particular charity or organization.

There is a way to get an EIN, and the charities should provide their contact details, which makes it specifically legit. So, if someone’s donation process sometimes goes wrong, it has one option to contact the non-profit for clarity. Be sure of the IRS “Dirty Dozen” scam list for 2020 which says that legitimate charities should have EIN. Also, check out the best charity scam prevention for a better way to donate.

·  Charities and non-profits should have to register with IRS annually

The IRS should also be registered with the applicable state governments. In case a non-profit organization fails to register, it may point out that it is unwilling to share additional details for everyone. People take it as a warning sign against transparency so that non-legit can go ahead with it.

Plus, your contributions will not be tax-deductible if the organization is not registered. So, to decide over it, the IRS gives a Tax-Exempt Organization Search tool to choose the right charities to go ahead with. In addition to that, legit non-profits also have to register with around 40 state governments annually. Therefore, we suggest you know about their charitable work and associate with them on correct and valid terms.

·  Next, is you should check whether the charities have a way to take in donations.

It is not necessary to give donations exclusively by cash; there should be other valid ways for people to donate. However, it is one of the most visible signs for everyone willing to donate and find out whether it provides legit payment gateways which are secure. So, next time you are ready to contribute and still find something fishy, it could be a warning sign.

Remember that wire transfers, cash, and gift cards are some methods that only fraudsters and criminals opt for funding purposes. Indeed, it is one of the effectively accessible ways for fraudsters and cheaters to collect money from different disaster scams.

·  Finally, your charity can provide a tax receipt for all donations made.

You should have the option to receive tax receipts, whether in hard copy or online. If the charity is willing to take donations but cannot provide the donation receipt, take it as a warning sign to double-check the legitimacy of the non-profit. It can be a work of a scammer to take in extra money in the name of charity.


With the above tips on checking if a non-profit is legitimate, one thing is clear- there is no point in donating to a false charity. It will neither do well for your intentions nor will be benefitting society. So, we suggest and point to keeping an eye on the legit charities and how they take the donations.

Well, let’s donate this Christmas and give back to society. Get started now!