Charity Navigator 4 Star CharityThe Federal Trade Commission and 58 law enforcement groups from every state have charged 4 sham cancer charities with bilking more than $187 million from consumers. The charities spent about 97% of donations they received either on private fundraisers or on themselves. Only 3%, she says, went to help actual cancer patients.

At Irving Cares, 83 cents of every dollar goes to help those in need. You can donate with confidence. We have a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, an independent American nonprofit that evaluates charities.

What can you do make sure your donation doesn’t go a fraudulent charity?

Charity Navigator has these suggestions:

  1. Hang up the phone! Reynolds Sr. and his family were able to raise so much money in part by working with for-profit telemarketing firms. Those companies siphon off most of what you donate and only pass along small percentage of your gift to the charity.
  2. Be proactive. Don’t wait for a charity to ask you for support. Instead flip the table and identify which causes you are most passionate about.
  3. Do your homework. Take the time to research the charity’s finances, governance practices and results. You’ll find much of this analysis, for free, at Charity Navigator.
  4. Make a long-term commitment. Once you’ve done your research, give generously and over the long haul. A great way to do that is by setting up a monthly donation to your favorite charity.

See the Irving Cares Charity Navigator Profile. You can read more information about the fraudulent charities in this article from The New York Times.