How To Check If You Are Donating To A Legitimate NGO
How To Check If You Are Donating To A Legitimate NGO
  06 Jan'2022

Giving charity for a noble cause and knowing that your contribution brings a smile to someone’s face is one of life’s greatest satisfactions. There are people who require help to pay off their medical bills, buy food for themselves, or are in desperate need of shelter to live under. It is time for the philanthropic people to step out and donate to NGOs for a noble cause and help in making the world a better place. While it is important to donate for a cause you believe in, it is also important to check where your hard-earned money is going into. It is not right to mention that reputed NGOs don’t call people for donations, but unless you know them personally, you will safeguard yourselves from the trap of fraudsters. Now, the question arises of checking if you are donating to a legitimate NGO or not. Here are some ways to ensure that you’re not cheated, and your donation is going to the most trusted NGO that you believe in.


Check the NGOs Online Presence


If you receive a call from an NGO asking for a donation, or you got to know about the NGO while scrolling through social media, it is always advisable to check the website of the NGO whether it calls for a red alarm or not. Do not click on the link shared by any NGO directly, as there are chances that the fraudster can track your IP address simply by clicking on the link. Always type the name of the NGO on a trusted search engine manually and do your research before making any donation. By doing that, you can glance at the activities done by the NGO, their vision and mission statement, and how the NGO will utilize your donation.


Look up their Annual Reports


Well-managed NGOs that are genuine in their approach do auditing to manage their accounts and are the most reliable NGOs in India. An annual report acts as legitimate proof that the NGO is authentic and working for the needy’s betterment. Whenever there is a concern, ask the NGO for an annual report to know the donation you are giving is going into the correct account. Genuine NGOs that have a website generally make their annual reports online to prove their authenticity. Small NGOs might not always have a website, but you can ask for their annual report for your convenience.


Connect To Them Directly


A legitimate NGO website will have a contact number, official email address, and office address. Before you donate to an NGO, you can call the NGO and check if you get relevant information for what you are looking for. Many smaller NGOs generally do not have an updated website or do not have a website at all. In these circumstances, it becomes difficult for a donor to determine if the NGO is most trusted or not. There are chances that the scammers might build a fake website for looping in money and trap you in tall talks. A legitimate NGO will be upfront and will not hesitate to give you the relevant information. While an illegitimate one will trap you in the conversation and will not give you the exact information you are looking for.


Say No to Cash Donations


It is alright to make a small donations in NGO dropboxes. But it is highly advisable to say a big NO to NGOs asking for a donation in cash if you are donating, especially a big amount. It is always recommended to make donations either online or via cheques. Making donations online is a transparent way to check your payment records and access email receipts to confirm the transaction. Online payments also give you proof of the receipt while filing an income tax return. A legitimate NGO will be kind enough to accept the donation online or via cheque if you find it inconvenient to pay the donation in cash.


Check the NGO’s Registration Proof


In India, a reliable NGO is registered either as a Trust, Society, or a Company. It doesn’t matter how much monetary support you are providing to the NGO; asking for the NGO’s registration proof should be your ideal approach. An authentic NGO will willingly provide you with their registration proof, which can be reflected on their official website. But a fraud NGO will not have registration proof and will try to trap in unnecessary conversation and try to loop in donations from you.


Never share your Bank Account Details


If you look up the internet and search for scams where fraudsters try to play mind games with the donor and ask for their bank account details and other relevant information, you will be disheartened to look at the results. A legitimate NGO will not call you unnecessarily and ask for your bank account details. If you get a call to donate to an NGO, and if the call is raising even a slight red alarm, it is time that you disconnect the call and check their online presence and find out the relevant information about the NGO. If you get multiple calls even after refusing to share the bank account details, you can report the NGO by saying that the NGO is trying to scam you by seeking confidential information.


Look for NGO Watchdogs


In terms of proving the genuineness of an NGO, there are many watchdogs in the system that will enable you to check if the NGO you are interested in donating to is the best NGO to donate by checking their list of NGOs. The watchdogs will also give you a list of blacklisted NGOs that are engaged in the wrong ways of doing business. Checking the authenticity of your choice of NGO helps you in cross-verifying the trustworthiness of the NGO. There are government-operated websites that have a list of the most reliable NGOs in India.



Next time you receive a call from an NGO or choose an NGO to donate, you know what you have to do. Help in helping the organizations that are working each day to improve the lives of the needy. But do your ground research well and ensure that your hard-earned money will get utilized for the betterment of the people in need.

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