First and foremost you can view online through the IRS a list of organizations eligible to recieve tax deductible charitable contributions. This will at least verify that the group or organization has nonprofit status.
If you are looking for unbiased information and ratings for nonprofits, Charity Navigator is your best bet. The Charity Navigator web site offers ratings and reviews of more than 5,500 of America's largest charities. The site also offers specific information on what to look for and what to ask when making a donation.
If you are looking for something in print format, the Springfield Greene-County Library subscribes to the American Institute of Philanthropy (AIP) Charity Rating Guide and Watchdog Report. This magazine can be found in the Funding Information Center periodicals collection at The Library Center. The AIP's goal is to maximize the effectiveness of every dollar contributed to a charity by providing donors with the information they need to make more informed giving decisions. They focus on the effiiciency, accoutability and governance of nonprofit organizations.
Last but not least if you feel you have been taken advantage of by a donation scam you can contact the Missouri Attorney General's Office to file a complaint. Every claim will be reviewed, so you are not only helping yourself but helping others. You can access the form online through their website or call them at 1-900.392-8222.
Find this article at