More MS news articles for December 2000

How Can You Make Sure Your Donation is Being Used Wisely?

Dateline:  December 21,  2000

You work hard for your money but is your donation to your favorite non-profit being used the way you intended it? At this time of giving, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society encourages you to learn about non-profit organizations before making a contribution. The National MS Society offers the following suggestions to help guarantee that your money is being used well. We have included a handy downloadable version of this list at the bottom of the page for your convenience and to share with others.

Ask These Questions Whenever You’re Asked For A Donation.

We’ve filled in the answers for the Greater Delaware Valley Chapter of the National MS Society.

1. Is your group an approved 501(c)(3)?
YES- request a copy of our IRS ruling by calling 1-800-548-4611.

2. What percentage of the funds you raise are used to provide programs and services?
Nearly 80%--call 800-548-4611 to ask for a copy of our annual report.

3. Are any of these programs or services available locally?
YES-in addition to our national programs and our international research effort, we provide many free services for people with MS throughout the Greater Delaware Valley. Call 800-548-4611 and ask about our FREE Programs Guide.

4. What percent of the funds you raise go to fundraising and administrative costs?
About 20%--see our Annual Report for more details.

5. Is your group recognized by and does it report to, the National Charities Information Bureau?
YES-to confirm this, call the N.C.I.B. at 212-929-6300.

6. Is the organization a member of the National Health Council or any other nationally recognized organizations?
YES-to confirm this, call the National Health Council at 202-785-3910.

7. Is your financial report audited and can I receive a free copy?
YES-simply call 800-548-4611.

8. What is your reputation with the Better Business Bureau?
EXCELLENT-to confirm this, call the Better Bureau's Philanthrophic Advisory Service at 703-276-0100.

9. If not a totally volunteer organization, do you have a federal employer ID number?
YES-please call us for more information.

10. Do you have a board of directors and are these people prominent local citizens?
YES-More than 40 community volunteers from all professions serve on our Board of Trustees. Please see our Annual Report for more a complete listing.

Be Aware Of Sound-Alike Organizations

Sound-alike organizations are especially confusing to the public. Remember, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society is the oldest, largest, non-profit voluntary MS agency in the world and is NOT affiliated with any other MS group. We are the only MS organization that meets the standards of all major agencies that rate non-profit groups. Our materials and information can always be identified by the logo shown to the right.

If you are approached by other MS organizations, please request a copy of its Annual Report, as well as a listing of the organization’s programs, services, and the research they are presently supporting for those with the disease. We are proud to report that the National MS Society spends more money on MS research than any national voluntary health agency in the world.

For more information about the National MS Society, please call 800-548-4611, or visit our website at We encourage your questions and suggestions about our services, staff, programs, and research.