Tips for Charitable Giving

Nonprofit organizations play a pivotal role in supporting educational, religious, artistic, health and welfare services across the country. Make your charitable donation wisely by following these tips.

Do your research.

There are more than 1 million charities registered with the IRS. Find the best charities for you by visiting one of the following websites:

Only give to registered charities.

Before you give, check our Charities database » or call 971-673-1880 to confirm the organization is properly registered with the Oregon DOJ.

Make sure your gift is tax-deductible.

Visit the IRS website » to ensure your gift is to a qualified organization. Make sure the charity provides written confirmation of your donation. Then keep your records. Also, check to make sure the charity is not disqualified from eligibility for tax deductible donations in Oregon.

Watch out for imposters.

Bogus charities often use names or logos resembling well-established organizations. Before you respond to a solicitation, call to confirm the charity exists and is aware of any fundraising efforts on its behalf.

Resist impulse decisions to donate.

Telephone and door-to-door solicitations may be earnest requests for your support, but be wary of scam artists who want your money fast. No legitimate organization will insist that you donate immediately. Ask for written materials about the charity to learn more before making a decision.

Be careful with cash donations.

Legitimate charities will be pleased to receive a contribution by check or other secure form of payment. Never send contributions with a “runner,” by wire or with an overnight parcel pick-up service. Always make the check payable to the organization and never to the individual collecting the donation.

If you don’t remember a pledge, you probably didn’t make one.

Watch out for solicitations that look like an invoice or come from an unfamiliar organization thanking you for your previous support. Regardless of your giving history, you have no obligation to donate.

Reduce the number of solicitations you receive.

Under Oregon law, if your number is on the national Do-Not-Call List », charities may not solicit donations over the phone unless you are a past donor or previously expressed an interest in giving. If you want to be removed from as many national mailing lists as possible, sign up for free at and opt out of receiving most junk mail ».

If you have concerns about a solicitation, please file a complaint online » or call the Charitable Activities Section at 971-673-1880.

You can also search the Charities database to find out if a charity is registered to operate in Oregon ».