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Gifts That Give Back: How to Determine if a Nonprofit is Legitimate and Donation Worthy

Gifts That Give Back: How to Determine if a Nonprofit is Legitimate and Donation Worthy

Whether you’re holiday shopping or seeking a unique present for a special anniversary or birthday, there’s simply no better feeling than giving a gift that gives back! That’s why the “gifts that give back” trend has risen significantly over the past several years. Just knowing that you’re helping make a difference is one of life’s greatest satisfactions.

Google searches for “gifts that give back” skyrocket every December. Americans gave $484.85 billion to charitable organizations in 2021, a 4% increase from the previous year. In Florida alone, 7 out of 10 households made charitable donations in 2021. Of those donors, 74% gave the majority of their donations to Florida-based nonprofit organizations.

However, with an astounding 1.6 million nonprofit organizations in the United States, finding the right charity to donate to can be quite a challenge.

How can you determine if a specific nonprofit organization is legitimate? The following tips will help you find the best gifts that give back that are legitimate and worthy of your donation: 

  • Avoid Giving Donations Over the Phone: So-called charitable organizations that cold call you asking for donations are rarely the real deal and should be looked at with suspicion. NEVER give your credit card information over the phone. In fact, trusted nonprofit organizations will never accept such transactions. Also, beware of organizations that try to rush you to make a donation. 
  • Conduct the Appropriate Research Before Making a Decision: Start with a simple Google search that features the name of the nonprofit along with words such as “review,” “scam,” “rating,” “complaint” or “fraud.” This will provide you with any immediate red flags that pop up letting you know to avoid the nonprofit organization.
  • Confirm that the Charity is a 501(c) (3) Nonprofit: This designation simply means that the organization has been approved by the IRS to be recognized as a tax-exempt charitable organization and donations to it are tax deductible. The easiest way to find this information out is to visit the IRS’s Tax-Exempt Organization Search Tool and enter the organization’s Employer Identification Number (all legitimate nonprofits have an EIN and should provide one on request). 
  • Browse Charity Watchdog Sites: One of the easiest and most effective ways to verify the legitimacy of a nonprofit organization is to look it up on charity watchdog sites like Charity Navigator, CharityWatch, BBB Wise Giving Alliance and GreatNonprofits. These sites not only rate various nonprofits, but also allow you to discover more about the organization and how they spend their donations. Use these sites to help determine the financial health, accountability and transparency of the nonprofit organization.
  • Trust Your Best Instincts: You should always feel good about giving to charitable organizations. That’s why if you encounter any red flags or warning signs, you should simply seek another deserving nonprofit to support. Using good judgment will give you peace of mind that your donation is going toward an appropriate cause. 

A Spoon Full of Hope: The Best Gifts That Gives Back

At A Spoon Full of Hope, 100% of the proceeds from our extensive product line support students in the Culinary Training Program of the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, which is listed as a Four Star Charity (the highest rating) on Charity Navigator.

That’s why gifts that give back like A Spoon Full of Hope feature the best of both worlds - a great present you can wrap up with a built-in donation that positively impacts the lives of others.

A Spoon Full of Hope products - which include fresh, locally sourced and made honey, soup and cookies - make amazing gifts not only during the holiday season, but throughout the entire year. Browse our amazing line of gifts that give back products today! 

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