Checkthecharity.com uses public records submitted by the nonprofit and the solicitors they hire to help Coloradans decide which charitable groups to support.  The website states it is “A public-private partnership to promote Colorado charities and to inform and protect donors.”  I first heard about this new site reading the Denver Post on Friday 11/23/2009 as a business brief caught my eye, “Charity-checking website available.”

The checkthecharity.com website provides links to four other sites:

1.  Colorado Nonprofit Association – Strengthening Nonprofits and Charitable Giving.  This link takes you to a site titled, Generous Colorado.  This site offers a User’s Guide with valuable information for potential donors including: Find Nonprofits or Causes, Sites that Accept Donations, Wise Giving, Get Involved, For Kids, About Us (the Colorado Generosity Project and the Colorado Nonprofit Association), and Generous Colorado Blog.

2.  Colorado Attorney General Colorado Department of Law – Consumer Protection for Donors.  This link takes you to a state-sponsored site within consumer protection that deals specifically with charities.  Among the information provided are tips for donors.

3.  Denver Post’s Season to Share –  This link provides consumers the opportunity to leverage their resources with a provided match.   “We need your support now more than ever. Together we can make a difference.  All donations are matched at 50 cents on the dollar by the McCormick Foundation.  100% of your donation (plus the match) goes directly to local charities serving those in need. The Denver Post and the McCormick Foundation pay all administrative and promotional expenses.”

4.  Colorado Secretary of State – Review Charity Financials and other Required Filings.  “Charities that solicit contributions in Colorado and their professional fundraisers are required to register online with the Secretary of State. The Charities and Fundraisers Registration program provides complete public access to these registration documents. The purpose of publicizing this information is to help donors make informed decisions regarding which charitable causes should be supported, to help maintain public trust in charities, and to help charities make informed decisions about contracting with paid solicitors.”

This is a great portal to lots of valuable information – check it out!!  A common concern I often hear especially from small business people is where do I start to find a legitimate nonprofit to support in the areas of concern to us?  How do I know what to look for and which ones are “good”?  This new site helps a lot.  Having worked with thousands of nonprofits over 20+ years, I have some food for thought as well so will blog about some things I recommend you consider later this week.  So stayed tuned!