The situation in Haiti is dire and relief money is desperately needed. But already there are stories of dubious and outright fraudulent charities trying to cash in on the tragedy.

With that in mind, here are some tools that I use as a journalist to get a sense of how a charity is performing. They should provide more than enough for donors looking to protect themselves from scams.

Charity Navigator(may require a free registration)

Better Business Bureau Charity Reviews

Florida Gift Giver Guide

Foundation Center

Most of the links are pretty self-explanatory; Search for your charity of choice. If your charity’s not there, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s illegitimate. But is it worth risking your hard-earned money?

So how do you use these tools?
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