Charity Checks

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is Charity Checks?

Charity Checks is an innovative nonprofit that helps people learn about creative kindness and thoughtful philanthropy. The founders of the nonprofit pioneered the way in 1999 that an individual can give someone else money that can only go to a charity. Charity Checks is volunteer-run and does not charge for the service. 

“Charity Checks” also refers to the actual checks that comes as part of the Giving Certificates. They are financial instruments that can be deposited by any nonprofit recognized by the IRS.  

What are Giving Certificates?

This “Joy of Giving” tool can be used as personal gifts to others, as corporate incentives, and as teaching tools in homes and schools. 

GIFTS: Charity Checks make great gifts for friends, clients, family members and employees. They act like gift certificates or gift cards- but instead of letting you buy goods, Giving Certificates let you do good. Giving Certificates are redeemable for cash only by charities at more than 1.5 million IRS-approved exempt organizations. You can give them to people you care about and let them choose the causes they care about!  

TOOLS FOR YOU: For your own philanthropy, you can give them to your favorite causes directly, getting one receipt for many donations:

  • You can choose to give anonymously (and keep your name off solicitation lists!) but still receive a tax receipt;
  • You can receive any eligible tax benefits in one year, but choose the causes and donate to them the next year;
  • “Pre-paid philanthropy” lets you have a drawer full of Charity Checks to pop in the mail as easy gifts or pop in an envelope of your favorite cause, and;
  • You can have one receipt for your charitable giving. This alleviates the need to hunt and sort handfuls of receipts at tax time. 

How do I get Giving Certificates?

Giving Certificates from the non-profit Charity Checks are available in many denominations. The full amount goes to the charity. Unlike some giving card and online donation programs, no back-end fees are deducted when you use Charity Checks. You can order online or by mail using our convenient order form. Print it, fill it out, and mail it (with a check, of course) to 30473 Mulholland Highway #64, Agoura Hills, California 91301. There is a small additional charge for shipping and handling. You will then be mailed the Charity Checks you ordered with a letter stating the amount you donated to Charity Checks. 

What should I do with the Giving Certificates that were given to me?

Give them away! They're worth money - but only to charities. You can give Charity Checks to any of the 1.5 million charities registered with the IRS, or you can give them to your children to give away so that they can learn the power of donations to help causes. You can also give Charity Checks Giving Certificates as gifts to teachers, caregivers, or other people you wish to thank by helping them support their favorite causes.

Can I personalize the Charity Checks’ Giving Certificates?

Charity Checks can be personalized with company logos or customized messages. If you have questions, you can reach us at 800-854-5601. We are a volunteer-run organization, so we may not be able to get back to you right away...but we WILL!

Can I order by phone?

Unfortunately, no. For your security, we do not accept credit card orders over the phone. We only accept online orders or checks sent by mail.

What do I do after ordering Giving Certificates?

You give them away. Each Giving Certificate comes with a note describing what it is, how it works, and how everyone associated with this powerful gift is helping to forge a new era of philanthropy. Giving Certificates are perfect in lieu of a traditional gift basket or a card announcing that “a donation in your name” has been made to someone else’s favorite charity. Through your generosity, the person who receives a Giving Certificate gets to choose how the money will be used. Businesses use them as holiday gifts and volunteer rewards. They can also be used as “matching gift” funds. Some businesses sponsor a classroom in the Charitable Literacy program. Some individuals make “Giving Baskets” by adding a Charity Check to a gift basket. 

What do you mean by "Give the Joy of Giving"?

The transferability of Giving Certificates makes them a perfect gift. The purchaser knows that the money will go to a good cause, but the recipient determines which cause will benefit (in lieu of sending "a charitable donation made in your name" to a charity the recipient may not care about).

What do you mean by "Teach the Joy of Giving"?

In the hands of a child, Giving Certificates are the perfect tool for teaching the importance of charity. (Learn more about how your family can create new giving traditions.) Some adults who receive Giving Certificates as gifts may also learn (or be reminded) of the satisfaction one receives from the act of giving. As a teaching tool, Charity Checks can be the “training wheels” for children who will inherit wealth. They can be given money that will only go the causes they choose. Businesses can help teach the joy of giving by sponsoring a classroom.

How do Giving Certificates help me make my gift count?

Many people believe that their small gifts to charities are entirely spent on marketing efforts to encourage future giving (e.g., frequent solicitation mailings, phone calls, “free gifts,” etc.). By sending Giving Certificates to a qualified charity anonymously, a donor can ensure that the gift goes to its intended use, while still being able to take full advantage of the tax deduction for the donation.

Do Giving Certificates expire?

Yes. Giving Certificates currently being issued expire on May 31, 2018. The expiration date is meant to encourage you to forward the donation to a charity as soon as possible. That makes the money work harder. It also helps us keep our books in order. In cases where a donor requests a different expiration date, we make every effort to accommodate.

Can Giving Certificates be returned for a refund?

No. Money paid for Giving Certificates is fully committed to benefit non-profit organizations and cannot be returned. The person ordering the Giving Certificates is mailed a letter for tax purposes. 

How and when will I receive my Giving Certificates?

Charity Checks is a volunteer-run organization, but we do our best to fill orders promptly. You will receive your order by U.S. Post Office Priority Mail. If you would like us to ship your order using an overnight shipping service, you can include a note to us with your account number when you place your order. We can also arrange to use an overnight service if you make an additional donation to cover the cost.

Do Giving Certificates have any intrinsic value?

Unless you are a valid, recognized, qualified, bona fide, IRS-approved exempt organization, Giving Certificates have no cash value. If you are one of those, you can deposit your Giving Certificate like any other check. If you aren’t, then you get the benefit of a Giving Certificate when you give it away -- to your favorite cause.

Who gets the tax deduction?

The person who buys the Giving Certificates gets the right to a tax deduction immediately on buying the check. There is no tax deduction involved in giving the Giving Certificate to a charity. If someone gives you a Giving Certificate to donate, you cannot take a deduction.

How can my charity qualify to receive Giving Certificates?

Giving Certificates are redeemable by any U.S.-based nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. There are more than 1.5 million such organizations in the United States.

How can I help Charity Checks?

Charity Checks is a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging charitable giving. To help us in this effort, you can:

  • Make a monetary donation
  • Donate your used car
  • Donate stock
  • Volunteer
  • Sponsor a classroom
  • Tell your friends about America's Giving Certificates !

To help, contact Charity Checks at 800-854-5601.