As Americans give their money to organizations in support of helping those in need, there will always be people who create fake or fraudulent organizations that are intentionally designed to look like the real thing. All of the donations they receive  are then pocketed and used for their own gain. Don’t let that scare you into withholding your involvement in support of these charities. Instead, investigate the credibility of the organization using this guide:

A good name doesn’t mean a good charity.

Scam artists are well versed in the art of creating names that are meant to mislead people who are looking to donate but haven’t done the proper research. Never go by name alone. The entire point of you giving back is to benefit people in need; if you’re giving to a fake charity, that money is going into the pockets of strangers.

Discover who else is supporting the charity.

It is important to be aware of who, besides you, supports your chosen charity. Oftentimes, exploitable charities will compromise their beliefs simply in order to receive donations from larger corporations for their own gain. This is not an organization that you want to support nor be associate with. An environmental charity who accepts donations from nature-destroying corporations, for example, is obviously not a very trustworthy cause to want to stand by.

Pay attention to websites who rate charities.

Another great way of recognizing the legitimacy of a non-profit is by checking  watchdog websites Charity Navigator is a highly reputable watchdog site. They evaluate the mission of nonprofits and charities across the nation. You can see how well they have sustained the programs they have claimed to set it place, as well as their commitment to fair practices.