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Links to Charity Registration and Financial Information

Use the following links to learn more about a particular charity, or find additional information on charitable giving. Note: Links will open in a new browser window or tab.

NEW Resources:
US Treasury List of Terrorist Organizations
The United States Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control publishes a list of organizations that it deems involved in terrorism or narcotic trafficking.

Southern Poverty Law Center's (SPLC) List of Hate Groups
Site and interactive map feature to identify active organizations that SPLC classifies as hate groups in the United States.

Sources for Charity Information Filed with the Government:
Foundation Center
Economic Research Institute
GuideStar
National Center for Charitable Statistics
ProPublica Nonprofit Explorer
IL Attorney General
NC Secretary of State
NY Attorney General
MA Attorney General
OK Secretary of State
WV Secretary of State

Sites such as the Foundation Center, the Economic Research Institute, Guidestar.org, the Illinois Attorney General, North Carolina Secretary of State, the New York Attorney General and the Massachusetts Attorney General are excellent sources for finding a charity’s tax filings, also known as IRS Form 990s. Guidestar.org, unlike the other sites listed, requires first-time users to register an e-mail address before providing access to charity information. Guidestar.org publishes only charities' most recent three tax filings. The Economic Research Institute is one site that posts recently updated 990s as well as older 990s going back several years. The charitable databases of the Illinois Attorney General, North Carolina Secretary of State, New York Attorney General, and Massachusetts Attorney General may also contain audited financial statements for organizations soliciting in those states (many of which also solicit nationally).

It may be better to obtain a charity's financial documents from these sources, rather than directly from a charity. We have seen instances where charities post either incomplete or partial financial documents on their websites and these sources obtain much of their information from official government filings. Also, charities that file partial or false information with the government may be subject to fines or penalties.

Search for Nonprofits That Have Reported a Diversion of Assets
The Washington Post has assembled a public, searchable database of nonprofits that have disclosed a "significant diversion" of assets since 2008. More than 1,000 nonprofits have reported a significant diversion of assets from 2008-2012 according to The Post's analysis. A diversion is considered significant if it is more than $250,000 or 5% of the organization's annual gross receipts or total assets. These diversions of assets, which nonprofits have been required to report on their annual IRS Form 990 filing since 2008, include losses related to theft, fraud, embezzlement, and other unauthorized uses of funds.

NASCOnet
To find out if a charity is registered in a particular state, click on the state's name at NASCOnet. Some state government charity offices have registration and/or financial summary information available on-line. Remember that registration does not imply an endorsement by the state.

National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP)
NCRP promotes accountability and responsiveness in the philantrophic field. NCRP's staff monitors philanthropic practices and identifies potential areas for reform that can make a positive, progressive difference for the nonprofit community.

Federal Trade Commission
The FTC cracks down on charity frauds. Also visit Operation: False Charity and Operation: Phony Philanthropy.

IRS Exempt Organizations
To see if donations to a charity are tax-deductible, go to the IRS site's Internal Revenue Services Exempt Organizations search tool.

InterAction
The largest alliance of U.S. based international development and humanitarian nongovernmental organizations.

MinistryWatch
Online database of Wall Watchers, a watchdog organization, with profiles of and reports on christian faith-based charities and groups.

ECFA
An accreditation agency comprising christian evangelical organizations which comply with standards for financial accountability, fundraising and governance.

 
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Last Update: December 5, 2014