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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Trust but Verify - How to participate with a Non-Profot

At some point in time we are all exposed to a good cause. Either a friend, an acquaintance, a relative or a brochure can present us with an organized group who are collecting for their cause. When someone with good intentions and high energy approaches us to promote their needy cause we can get emotionally tangled up. Sooner or later if one does catch our attention and hold our interest we may donate time, money or items for the cause. Before you jump in feet first I suggest some background research. First, does the organizaion have a leader with a defined goal and a plan to achieve the goal. How do current volunteers participate and do they offer a positive and friendly environment. Another way to check out an organization is to see how they participate in the community and which businesses support their cause.

Here are two links to start your research.

The First offers a Basic Overview of a Nonprofit group. http://managementhelp.org/org_thry/np_thry/np_intro.htm

The Second offers a look at public records for Non-Profits
http://www.guidestar.org/


Once you have done some homework you will be able to make a decision based upon facts.