4 Different Ways to Report a Scam Charity

If you suspect that a charity is fake or corrupt, there are several different ways to go about reporting it. The following comprises a list of your different options.

1. Report it to the IRS

The IRS is responsible for overseeing all charities on a federal level. The good news is that there are multiple ways to file a complaint through the IRS. You can even submit an anonymous tip should you so choose. Here are your options:

2. Notify the State

Depending on which state you live in, either the Attorney General or the Secretary of State will be responsible for overseeing nonprofit regulation. To find your state’s Attorney General, click here. To find your Secretary of State, click here.

3. Inform Charity Navigator

Charity Navigator is a watchdog organization that publishes an ongoing advisory list. This list assesses each charity’s concern/risk level. To submit a claim to Charity Navigator, send an email to cnadvisory@charitynavigator.org. Charity Navigator asks that you provide substantial evidence to support your claim.

4. Contact Your Local News Outlet

Most news outlets have a special team of investigative journalists that will look into your claims should you have reason to believe that a charity is engaging in unethical practices. Better yet, these journalists will protect your identity should you choose to remain anonymous. This is a great option if you want to inform the public about the organization’s unlawful activity.

Now that you have a list of options in front of you, it’s time to start compiling your evidence so that you can report the suspicious activity. Remember: the longer you wait, the more people will be taken advantage of.

3 Controversial Ways to Raise Money for Charity

The nonprofit world is competitive, there’s no doubt about that. As a result, some charities are looking for unique and creative ways to raise money. But for however noble the cause, the means of raising money is sometimes… questionable. Take a look at the controversial ways that people have raised charity funds in the past.


Back in 2007, Chilean prostitute Maria Carolina auctioned 27 hours of sex to raise money for Teletonthe country’s largest fundraising campaign. A client of hers quickly took her up on the offer, raising nearly $4,000 for poor, disabled children. In response to widespread criticism, Carolina stated, “There are people who are going to be donating money that’s a lot more questionable than mine. The only thing I did was publicize it.” Do note that prostitution is legal in Chile, whereas it’s not in the majority of the U.S.

Dangerous Stunts

Nick Le Souef of Australia made headlines back in 2010 when he pledged to live amongst hundreds of poisonous spiders in the name of charity. For three straight weeks, Souef locked himself inside a 12×4 ft. enclosure littered with deadly redbacks, tarantulas, huntsmen, and house spiders in an attempt to raise $50,000 for children’s charity. But Souef is no stranger to danger. He’s also spent long periods of time locked inside of a shark tank and a snake pit!

Just Plain Odd

There’s been a recent epidemic in the U.S. where people from all over the country are seeing creepy clowns. But long before the creepy clown sightings there were naked clown sightings. Fortunately, these were benevolent clowns, and the only intention that had was to help raise money for multiple sclerosis research. The naked clowns posed for pictures in a 2009 calendar. The calendars sold for $20 each and all proceeds went towards the Judy Finelli Fund. The lesson to be learned here is that bizarre behavior gets attention, and attention is the first step towards raising money.

Get Fit for Charity: Apps that Motivate

Getting back into shape is hard, mostly because personal motivation is so fickle. But imagine if another person’s life was dependent on it. That’s the idea behind the latest fitness charity apps. Four apps—Charity Miles, Charity Bets, stickK, and Plus 3 Network—can reward progress by donating money to charity for every fitness milestone reached. Read on to learn more about these healthy giving apps.

Charity Miles

Get ready to burn some serious fat and calories with this app! Charity Miles has a list of sponsors who will donate 25 cents for every mile either walked or run. For bicyclists, it’s 10 cents. Users even have the ability to choose the charity they would like the money to go to. Thus far, Charity Miles has donated over $1.7 million.

Charity Bets

Charity Bets is for those moments when someone says, “I bet that would never happen.” Now, users can put friends and family members to the test by literally betting on their goals. Money is placed on the goal (say $20 for a 5k marathon) and if the user completes the marathon, that $20 will be donated to a charity of their choice.


stickK is revolutionary in that it uses negative incentives to motivate users. Here’s how it works. The user sets a fitness goal and puts money down for that goal. If the user doesn’t meet the goal, that money will then be donated to a charity the user hates. If the user meets their goal, they can do whatever they like with the money, including donating it to a charity of their preference.

Plus 3 Network

Imagine the macro side of donating, as in, huge donations made on behalf of large companies. That’s precisely what Plus 3 Network is focused on, except these generous donations are entirely dependent on the micro side of things. When a company signs up with Plus 3 Network, they’re given a mobile “Clubhouse” that can be used to track participating employees’ physical activity, nutrition, sleep, and other lifestyle factors. The app rewards healthy lifestyle choices by donating money on behalf of the company whenever personal fitness goals are achieved.

Companies that Give to Education

Several high-profile companies have committed themselves to donating generous funds to education to promote its quality, longevity—and, most importantly, its accessibility. Among these companies are private equity firm KKR, who have made significant contributions to schools through the Sponsors for Educational Opportunity programs, and Google, who is donating Chromebooks to incoming refugees to help them settle into their new homes and to provide refugees with a reliable educational platform. Additionally, car company Fiat Chrysler now offers free college educations to its employees. Though the donations and efforts look a little different, these companies are all working to support education.

KKR has given support to the Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) for years. SEO Scholars is an eight-year academic program that helps underprivileged public high school students all the way through college, supporting them for a significant portion of their lives. KKR cofounder Henry Kravis and KKR global head of public affairs Ken Mehlman attended the program’s 13th Annual Awards Dinner recently. “Since becoming Chairman of SEO’s Board of Directors, I’ve continued to be inspired by the determination of the young people we serve,” Kravis said.

Google is also doing its part to make sure people of all ages are getting access to information and opportunities they need. The tech company is donating $5.3 million to provide nonprofits with Chromebooks for Syrian refugees to help them learn new work skills, a local language, and to help them continue whatever studies they left behind. Chromebooks are an excellent low-cost option for nonprofits that can help needy people settle in to a new culture.

“[Chromebooks] can run an educational game for children, a language course for younger adults, or even feature information about the asylum application process on a pre-installed homepage,” said Jacqueline Fuller, director of Google.

Perhaps the only option better than a Chromebook is to simply offer free college education to those who want it. That’s what Fiat Chrysler is doing: the company is offering “no-cost, no-debt” college educations through Strayer University. The college offers Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degrees in 40 different fields. In Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, Alabama, and Tennessee, 356 dealerships have opted in to participate in the program. Any employee can enroll. The company hasn’t announced how the program is paid for, but it is likely that a deal between the two institutions has been reached. Fiat Chrysler’s program, called Degrees@Work, contributes to the overall wealth of knowledge its employees have that they can then pour back into the company.

Through these measures, these three companies are contributing to the world’s shared knowledge, empowering workers and educating people for the better.

How to Make Health-Based Philanthropy Work

Many of us have a desire to save the world in whatever way we can—that’s why philanthropy is so important and widespread. But what’s the most effective way to approach health initiatives? It’s all good and well to throw money at a problem, or even try to swoop in and save the day—but will that cause real, lasting change? Organizations like the Gates Foundation (founded by Bill and Melinda Gates) and the J.C. Flowers Foundation (founded by private equity giant J.C. Flowers & Co.) follow what studies say is the best way to approach community activism: they support change as run by the community itself, rather than just coming in as an outside influence.

“Numerous agencies of the federal government of the US have concluded that community engagement is a critical component of any public health strategy,” write Barbara J. Zappia and Deborah L. Puntenney in their study on grassroots activism and community health initiatives. That’s why agencies like the US Department of Health and Human Services the National Institutes for Health, and the Centers for Disease Control have chosen to focus a large part of their energies on community engagement.

Effective activism that engages the community can be positively supported by business, despite the sometimes negative connotation of combining philanthropy with “profit-making.”

The J.C. Flowers Foundation is one example of this. Its extremely effective work to eradicate malaria in “last mile” African communities has inspired philanthropists both locally and internationally. The Foundation believes in focusing on the local community when it comes to supporting its initiatives. According to their website, they “believe that the people who live in the communities have the best knowledge about how to solve their own problems.” The J.C. Flowers Foundation brings its organizational skills, as well as financial and technical know-how, to the table, but count on local communities to spearhead initiatives.

The Gates Foundation also has a focus on malaria eradication from the inside out. To date they’ve invested $2 billion in grants to fight the disease, and they are committed to working with a broad range of partners, including local communities, to treat and prevent future outbreaks. Because they are a large organization, they’re able to invest financially in ways local communities can’t always manage; however, they also acknowledge the importance of working with the people on the ground who make these areas home.

Whether abroad or at home, philanthropy focused on health initiatives can make great strides if the groups working on it focus on partnering with and strengthening local communities.