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September 29, 2011 - Lisa Goehle
To Give or not to Give
With the holidays fast approaching many organizations are starting their fundraising for the Holiday Season. With so many more in need this year do to the low employment and other economic situations I’m sure you will be contacted to give. We all want to give but we also want to be sure the donations we do give go to the people in need and not into someone’s pocket.
If you are contacted by phone you have every right to ask the caller to send you a letter for the request. What many do not know is in Florida you are required to register your non-profit organization with the Florida Division of Consumer Services. All printed material must have the non-profit I.R.S. code, usually it will say 501(c) (3) and you must have the Department of Consumer Services registration number. If you don’t see these on the material asking for the donation you can call 1-800-435-7352 or go on to the web site Florida Department of Consumer Services. You will see on the left side a list of sites to visit you want to click on Gift Givers Guide this will take you to the list of all registered non-profits.
If you can’t find the organization you may want to speak to an agent at the department to notify them of this organization.
Every year thousands of caring citizens of all ages are defrauded out of funds thinking they are helping someone in need. Don’t be victims; arm yourself with the needed information to make a good decision on which organization you wish to make a donation to. If it’s not a legal organization it is not tax deductable and your hard earned money went into the pockets of a thief not a person in need.
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