People can vote for as many essays as they choose, but only get one vote per essay. Students are encouraged to share their essay with friends and family or on social media to generate more votes. Only votes from the scholarship website will be considered. Only one essay per state will be chosen to receive the $2,000 scholarship. 

Katherine Ann Creer – Richland High School

It is innate human nature to want to serve others. With the vast amounts of charities and companies that aim to ameliorate individuals’ situations, your donations must be used effectively and efficiently. Trust between an individual and an organization must be acquired and preserved.

To research an organization, the 501(c) stamp signifies a nonprofit organization in the United States government. Specifically, a 501(c)(3) is a tax-exempt, charitable organization. All charities and companies to which you send resources should fall into this category. Each donation should be tax-deductible. These tax deductions can then be subtracted from your overall gross income at the end of the year. It is a consumer’s right to understand all information on an organization before donating; this ensures trust.

Before you make a payment, it is wise to request information on how your donations will be utilized. Commonly, nonprofit companies use a portion of donations to fund their organizations. Not all funds go directly to charitable giving as nonprofits have to pay overhead costs. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, which funds research and charity programs for blood cancer patients, is an exemplary nonprofit organization. According to 2019 reports, 75.8% of individuals’ donations go directly to patient care. After understanding how donations are being used, this allows donors to make an informed decision.

A resource provided through the Better Business Bureau, the Wise Giving Alliance, is a website for both donors and charities. 4 At give.org, detailed reports on charities credibility, oversite, and effectiveness are given freely to the general public. National, statewide, and local charities are reported. Charities can also be accredited and begin the national Charity Seal licensing. If you are ever hesitant to donate to an organization, a quick search on the Wise Giving Alliance provides crucial data and facilitates donor trust.

Additional precautions can be used to ensure your contributions are going to a reliable organization. Simple advice includes not giving your information or donations over a telephone call. According to the Federal Trade Commission, charities cannot call consumers before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. legally. While on the phone, ask clarifying information that you can research later such as the mailing address of the organization. Simply looking at the clock and fact-checking can validate an organization’s credibility. The safest way to donate your resources is directly through a charity website and using a credit card or check. These methods of donations can be tracked easily via bank statements and through detailed record keeping.

Donations to charities provide opportunities for others through gracious contributions. Through research, trustworthy organizations ensure both the donor and recipients of the aid receive the fullness of potential assistance. As donors aim to make good things happen for others, charitable organizations and companies should be held to that same standard.

Works Cited Page

  1. “Exemption Requirements – 501(c)(3) Organizations.” Internal Revenue Service , 4 Dec. 2019, www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/charitable-organizations/exemption-requirements-501c3-organizations.
  2. “Credits & Deductions for Individuals: Internal Revenue Service.” Credits & Deductions for Individuals | Internal Revenue Service , 13 Feb. 2020, www.irs.gov/credits-deductions-for-individuals.
  3. “Rating for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.” Charity Navigator , 2020, www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=3993.
  4. “Wise Giving Alliance.” Better Business Bureau , 2020, www.give.org.
  5. “Before Giving to a Charity.” Consumer Information , Federal Trade Commission, 9 Mar. 2020, www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0074-giving-charity.

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