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Nevada Attorney Shares Tips on Charitable Giving

December 15, 2006

Las Vegas, NV - Whether the holiday spirit inspires you to reach out to Hurricane Katrina victims in this country, or to those suffering from natural disasters in faraway places, experts say you should take a moment and use your head as well as your heart when deciding how, and whom, to help.

Nevada attorney Beverly Salhanick cautions that some homework is naturally involved in selecting a charitable group. But the next step is to ensure that your donation actually gets to those in need, which means doing a bit more sleuthing.

"See if the charity is reputable, that's really the toughest part. We all know the 'big box' charities, the big brand names, but if you are not familiar with the charity, there are a number of Web sites you can use."

A couple of her online suggestions are www.gift.org, or www.charitynavigator.org. In addition, Salhanick says there are two important questions to answer before making your charitable gift.

"Is the charity legitimate, or is it a scam artist who simply set up a P.O. Box? The second is, 'How much of the money that is donated really goes to the charity and to the people that it seeks to serve?'"

Salhanick also suggests you donate by check.

"Absolutely, that is a much better way of making the donation; you have a traceable receipt and you are not giving out as much personal information."

She adds the Better Business Bureau's "Wise Giving Alliance" is another good source of information, as are the Attorney General's Offices, in Nevada or the state in which the charity's headquarters is located.

Michael Clifford/Eric Mack, Public News Service - NV