Donating Your Dollars: What You Need to Know

A message from Deb Kloeppel, MSCCN:

Message Updated January 2016

I receive many calls during the week from potential donors who want to know everything possible about the MSCCN's mission, infrastructure and successes. During these information-gathering conversations, I find myself educating the potential funder on their donor rights, mission expectations, and what their hard earned dollars will support. I also have to talk about the "dark side" of some nonprofit organizations who remain evasive and non-transparent to the donor and the IRS.

Because donors deserve the truth regarding what their funding dollars support, I've taken on the task of educating potential donors on best practices of nonprofits and, unfortunately, what type of nonprofit should NOT receive your donation.

Lesson One: While deciding whom to donate to, please review the below IRS link first. This list, updated regularly, concerns the revocation of a nonprofit's tax exempt status. Tax Exempt Revocations

Lesson Two: The IRS guidelines govern the amount of money nonprofits are to spend on administrative costs (which includes fundraising costs). Nonprofit organizations cannot exceed 20% of their funding dollars on administrative costs. MSCCN was strictly vetted by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance and was awarded their Accredited Charity certification when meeting all twenty requirements set forth by the Alliance. Only two other military affiliated nonprofits hold the BBB Wise Giving Alliance Seal. MSCCN is the third.

Lesson Three: Donors have a Bill of Rights:  for IRS information.

Lesson Four: If a nonprofit does NOT post its Form 990 publicly, or backdates its Forms 990 do NOT donate to that organization. Rule of Thumb: if you have to call a nonprofit in order to inquire about its 990 status because the organization does not publicly disclose - this should be a clear RED FLAG to you as a donor. Legally, nonprofits do not have to publicly disclose the 990. They are, however, required to produce the 990 upon asking. Why would you donate to a nonprofit who does not voluntarily disclose its recent year 990 within its Annual Report or the Donate section of its website? It's a danger zone indeed.

Number Five: Always check the BBB Wise Giving Alliance to ensure the nonprofit you want to donate to is accredited by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance Why is this important? BBB never charges for their vetting process, which makes the BBB the most OBJECTIVE vetting system in the nation. The BBB's vetting system is TOUGH - really tough - believe me. The 20 Standards they set for donor rights are the strictest in the nation.

MSCCN STRICTLY adheres to the Donor Bill of Rights. If you have any questions, please contact Deb Kloeppel at or by phone at 877-696-7226.