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:
- Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mail a letter to:
IRS EO Classification, Mail Code 4910
1100 Commerce Street
Dallas, TX 75242
- Complete Form 13909, the Tax-Exempt Organization Complaint (Referral) Form
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 email@example.com. 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.