Mark Taylor
[email protected]
In the spirit of holiday giving, many Kansans are prone to open their checkbooks this time of year when solicited for charitable contributions.
But how does a donor know whether a charity is reputable?
Three Kansas agencies have partnered to create a website that provides information about charities operating within the state.
Kscharitycheck.com features a listing of charities that are registered to solicit donations in Kansas.
The site — which was created by the Secretary of State’s Office, the Attorney General’s office and the Department on Aging — provides specific information on charities, including how much money they have raised and what percentage they spend on fund-raising and overhead.
The site also contains a listing of individuals registered to solicit on those agencies’ behalf.
However, a listing does not imply an endorsement by the Secretary of State.
It simply means that the charity has filed the paperwork required to solicit donations.
Because the Secretary of State’s office does not require large, national and international charities to register, the site mostly contains information about local charities.
Information about larger charities is available on sites such as give.org, guidestar.org and charitynavigator.org.
Give.org is the website for the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, an organization that reports on hundreds of non-profit organizations and offers guidance on making informed giving choices.
Guidestar.org allows donors to browse a database of 600,000 non-profit organizations and examine their IRS 990 tax returns.
Charitynavigator.org reports on the financial health of the nation’s largest charities.