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TAKING ACTION: Checking the charity’s rating before donating

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - It's commendable for anyone to donate to a nonprofit organization, but you want to check the charity's rating before you give.

According to Consumer Reports, a person should check to make sure the charity is tax-exempt because not all groups are. People should either check with the organization's staff or on the IRS's website. You can also tell an organization not to sell, exchange or rent his/her information. Donors can also ask the group not to send any further appeal letters or emails.

In order to check how an organization spends its money, you can visit Watchdog websites like Charity Navigator, CharityWatch or BBB Wise Giving Alliance.

Often times, we think people give most before Christmas, but the Giving USA Foundation reported 18% of charitable giving happened in the month of December alone.