Q:

How can you determine if a non profit organization is legitimate?

A:

Quick Answer

The Better Business Bureau has long been the standard for evaluating the trustworthiness of any given non-profit, charity or business. Charity Navigator and GiveWell are two other agencies that evaluate no-profit organizations.

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Full Answer

The Better Business Bureau tracks consumer disputes with businesses and grades companies with an A to F grading system based on complaint volume and severity. It was founded in 1912 in an attempt to provide marketplace transparency and industry self-regulation. It accredits organizations for offering outstanding services and helps resolve consumer disputes. The Better Business Bureau has been criticized for skewing the grades of organizations who pay their membership fees.

Charity Navigator is an online rating website that deals solely with the philanthropic marketplace. Charity Navigator attempts to professionally analyze non-profit organizations' financial documents and objectively rate their trustworthiness on a scale of 0 to 100. Charity Navigator does not accept contributions or offer membership fees in order to ensure unbiased reviews.

Another great charity rating site is GiveWell. GiveWell analyzes the details of a non-profit organization's financial standings and administrative fees. It compares this data with information on the number of people who benefited from the organization in terms of lives saved or improved. GiveWell is a non-profit, but it does accept donations for its services.

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