Registered charities-how to verify them

Registered charities-how to verify them

Postby CielOnTap on Sat Aug 23, 2008 7:31 pm

For donations to qualify for income tax purposes, the charities have to be registered with their countries' tax authorities. Donation receipts will have the charity's registration number printed on them, have a receipt number and year or date of donation. Some charities issue tax receipts upon receiving donations or wait until their year-end time to send out receipts for all donations sent in the year-the availability of staff to do the paperwork can determine the timing of the receipts.

Be aware to check out the validity of charities and if you donate after a telephone call, ask during the call who is issuing the tax receipts. Some charities may outsource the telephone solicitation to another company, which generates the receipts on behalf of the charities. However, make certain to keep a record of the date of your donation, the amount and the charity. Follow up before the year-end. Why? I once worked at a non-profit that had outsourced the solicitations and had to take calls from donors who did not get their receipts by tax time-they were upset and the absence of receipts also affected their perception of the non-profit. Later, the responsible company just dropped off hundreds of unmailed receipts for the non-profit to send out. Ask first and keep a hold on your funds if you are in doubt about the method of solicitation, even if it is occurring at your front door.

In Canada, charities register with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA): http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/chrts/menu-eng.html
In the United States, charities register with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS): http://www.irs.gov/charities/article/0,,id=96136,00.html
For Australia, rules on gifts and donations to non-profits are given by the Australian Taxation Office.

United Kingdom has a Charity Commission.
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Re: Registered charities-how to verify them

Postby CielOnTap on Tue Sep 16, 2008 6:18 pm

When a natural or man-made disaster or event causes people to leave their homes and reside in temporary shelters or community centres, check with the local authorities/emergency response groups about which methods of donation are most useful for their needs.

Some charities prefer to have monetary donations sent in so that the charities can purchase supplies in the area near the event (which also helps local businesses). Other charities may request specific shelter supplies or other goods, which you may need to send to a distribution centre for delivery to the response teams. It is not a good idea to just bring in your own supplies without learning what supports may exist or are set to show up first.
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Re: Registered charities-how to verify them

Postby fishandchips on Wed Sep 17, 2008 5:58 pm

Being asked to contribute to someone's walk or run at the supermarket door is not the time when I can verify that the cause is legitimate. The same applies to children selling chocolates for their school fundraising efforts. I buy the sweets only if the money spent is not budgeted for another need and I have time to consider the purchase. However, these examples do not provide receipts for supporting the cause most times.

I'd like to see mandatory identification badges in large enough print to see at a glance who is waiting for me at the shop doors, along with a sign or shirt indicating the reason the persons are standing there. It is a trust issue too.

If schools want the public to support their fundraisers, they have to realize that young children ought to have an adult on the scene and the children paired with peers for their bit of charity work. Often, I see a youngster alone and after supper hour near bank doors or the grocery doors.
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Re: Registered charities-how to verify them

Postby smitty on Wed Nov 26, 2008 4:46 pm

Good point fish&chips & especially at my age for I am on a fixed income & know a lot of others are the same. Especially these days.

Like for instance in the Greater Vancouver area they are pointing out that residents with even an income by both or by just one of them, are also leaning on the free hand-outs of those that have needed donations for the past few years. True it is mainly because they have one or more children. Still one has to wonder what is it like at their home or their income!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: Registered charities-how to verify them

Postby fishandchips on Fri Nov 28, 2008 2:32 pm

Smitty, there are seniors who may be using the free handouts to increase their disposable income for treats, trips and such but there are also seniors who have taken on raising grandchildren and may not get government assistance for their expenses. If seniors wanting to keep the grandchildren out of foster (while the chidren's parents are off who knows where) are doing so on pensions, there is not enough money for everyone. Second-hand shops will figure into the mix of clothing and shoeing everyone, as long as they can find the sizes.
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Re: Registered charities-how to verify them

Postby smitty on Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:38 am

You have a good point FishNChips, yet to-day I noted the Red Cross sent me a calander as their way of trying to prod me on to donating more money. Sorry Red Cross, but I am on a fixed-income & there is no increase in money to me YET cost of living is going up to along with my home taxes, to cost of natural gas, electricity, food (for I do not go to restaurants, but by groceries & make up my own meals at home), clothing to you name it. Yes I also go to second-hand stores to see if I can get something I need rather then pay the present retail prise along with Provincial to Federal taxes.
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Re: Registered charities-how to verify them

Postby fishandchips on Sat Dec 20, 2008 12:11 pm

Smitty, I too have had address labels, grocery list pads, and magnets sent to give me incentive to give again. Except when I am out of pocket or doing without, I cannot give. I give when there is extra funds to do so or an impulse overcomes my urge to spend on myself.

I can relate to your concern about getting a calendar from a charity when really it would be best to save the printing costs for something really needed to be printed-like appeal posters. I redeem Optimum Points from my Shoppers card to charity instead of waiting to get enough points for a free shop of $5 or $25. Will look to see if there is a way to find out how many points converted to certificates Red Cross obtained through the Optimum program.
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Re: Registered charities-how to verify them

Postby smitty on Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:50 pm

The shocking thing about even the well knowen charities, very little of the actual total of money was on products for those suffering & it is close to just 10%. Which is not good & in Canada the Fed Govt is backing every dollar one donates to, be it a legit charity.

True you get a slight cut on your IT, but when you are next to down to poverty level that is not the greatest thing in the world for I keep on saying home to land taxes, cost of petrol, natural gas, to electricity, to propane to coal & some others are cought in the Carbon Tax of B.C., & our Federal Govt think the Carbon Tax is a good thing to follow & use in every Province of Canada. It will probably be a double in B.C., & B.C. itself will NOT scratch its personal Carbon Tax for this is money to the governments.
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Re: Registered charities-how to verify them

Postby CielOnTap on Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:05 pm

I'm going to mention an organization that I only became aware of it through the BurdaStyle e-newsletter this week. Shelterbox Canada only applied for charitable status last fall with the Canada Revenue Agency and still does not have its own registration number. However, Shelterbox Canada is working with Rotary District 5550 World Community Service Foundation currentlyand accepting donations through them.

Shelterbox provides a rugged plastic box with a tent and other supplies that could help a group of up to 10 after a natural disaster. Contents of the box can vary depending on what Shelterbox determines the need to be for the area.
http://www.shelterboxcanada.org/about.php?page=9

I notice that the website mentions that the team in Tokyo, Japan is having some logistical problems getting around due to fuel shortage but they did get a flight out of Yokota Air Base.
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