Wednesday, December 14, 2005 | Powered by The Oklahoman and NEWS 9 | Powered by The Oklahoman and NEWS 9: "End of the year is smart time to give to charity

Today's Q&A is with the vice president of membership, Association of Fundraising Professionals -- Oklahoma Chapter.

Q: With so many nonprofits in Oklahoma and beyond, how do we decide which are legitimate organizations that deserve our support?

A: Great giving decisions start with great information. And in this information age, the data you need to make a sound and reasoned giving decision is easily available. At, you can find detailed information on almost every IRS-registered charity in the United States. This information includes the charity's mission, its programs, its leadership and its finances. You can also check with friends and colleagues who might have insight into a certain local charity's programs and whether or not its programs are achieving the desired results. Additionally, you can call the nonprofit directly and ask for their annual report and/or an audited financial statement."

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