MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - It is the season of giving and two local agencies want you to be aware of who you are giving to.
"There are a lot of different ways to give. You can give your time or financial resources,”says Interim Executive Director for the United Way of East Mississippi Thad Quarles.
Many families like to donate to charities this time of year. The United Way of East Mississippi and the Care Lodge want to make sure you are donating to the correct agencies.
"There are a lot of non-real names out there," mentions Quarles.
Some helpful tips to remember are to be sure to get all of the information about the organization you are giving to.
"Go to that non-profit and just ask some basic questions. How long have you been in business? What is your mission? Where do your funds go?" says Executive Director of the Care Lodge Leslie Payne.
Make sure you know who you are donating to.
"Look to see who your United Way agency and community supports. Look to see if it is a qualified charitable organization. That's very important," says Quarles.
Resist the pressure of giving on the spot.
"I think any reputable non-profit is not going to do high pressure sales. They are not going to try to guilt you into making a donation," says Payne.
And remember, not all charitable organizations are tax deductible.
"If there is a valid Secretary of State's certificate there, then they are a reputable agency and your donations will be tax deductible," says explains Payne.
Both the United Way and the Care Lodge want to also encourage you to give to local charities.
"We have so many good non-profit's here in our local area that the only thing you have to do is pick up the phone, make a phone call, and then go to that local agency," mentions Payne.
If you would like to know what organization’s to donate to you can visit the Secretary of State’s website for a complete list.