I’ve been solicited by an organization called Hearts and Hands International, but I’m a bit skeptical that they really are a non-profit. Is there some independent way to check their status?
In this day and age of scams and cons rife throughout the online world, I think you’re wise to pay close attention to whether a charity really has proper non-profit status with the Internal Revenue Service, a status called “501c3″.
It took me some digging, but it turns out that it is possible to check on the IRS site to see if the organization in question, Hearts and Hands, is a legit non-profit. I started by doing a Google search for confirm 501c3 tax status site:gov (which searches for the specified words only on sites in the “.gov” domain) and landed here: IRS Publication 78.
The search looks like this:
A quick search for “heart and hands” (choose “all of the words” as an option) reveals that there are a dozen-odd “Heart and Hands” matches, so if you pop back to the H&H Web site, you’ll see that they’re a registered entity in Oklahoma City, OK. Cross-check (or redo the search specifying Oklahoma as the state in question) and you’ll find that Hearts and Hands International of Oklahoma is indeed a 501(c)3 non-profit with the IRS.
Dig a wee bit further, by the way, and you’ll find that their specific status grants them the following clause: “A public charity with a 50% deductibility limitation.” Not exactly sure what that means, but I’m guessing that you can only deduct half of the value of any donation you make to the organization. Worth knowing before you’re audited!
Nonetheless, yes, Hearts and Hands International is a legitimate non-profit and a worthwhile one too, if you read up on their global projects and achievements.