SIDNEY — December marks not only the season of giving in the holiday spirit, but also the annual end-of-year tax season, a time individuals make decisions regarding the charities to which they might like to make a donation.
Realizing this, charities also use this time to advertise and solicit donations.
As a member of an organization like a church, enrolling a child in a school or other child-focused extracurricular organization, belonging to a service organization, or being recipient of community services like fire and police assistance, chances are enough information is already available to make a determination on whether that organization is deserving of financial assistance.
However, if life circumstances make that circle is too small to “share the wealth” at the end of the year, or if an unsolicited advertisement looks appealing, there are ways to help ensure that an unfamiliar fundraising effort is a legitimate charity.
First, be certain the name of the charity and the address or website where the donation is sent matches exactly with that charity to avoid scams.
Second, learn more about the charity by consulting reports like those issued through Charity Navigator (charitynavigator.org) and Guidestar (www.guidestar.org).
Guidestar’s information primarily comes from a charity’s IRS 990 form. The site can be searched by city and state, organization name, or keyword.
Charity Navigator’s main page permits searches by organization name and keyword, but by going to their advanced search page, it may be easier to search by city, in this case, “Sidney,” and then filter the results by state by selecting “Ohio.” The results provide “give with confidence” ratings for each charity.
If access to the detailed reports are not accessible to Guidestar or Charity Navigator due to a subscription paywell, check with the public library or go to open990 (open990.org), a website that provides free IRS form 990 reports.
Finally, check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), where it is possible to evaluate a charity’s donor and recipient feedback.
Donating locally is a wonderful way to make a difference in a community. The lists compiled below are not meant to be exhaustive, but provide a good sample of the kinds of charities available that are based in Sidney, and could use donations this year.
Sidney’s “Top 15” most solvent nonprofit charities (by gross receipts) as listed by Guidestar on Dec. 9, 2021, ranked from highest to lowest.
1) The Young Mens Christian Assoc of Sidney and Shelby County ($2,793,961)
2) Shelby County United Way Inc. ($2,066,951)
3) American Legion Sidney Post ($718,597)
4) Sidney-Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Inc. ($654,516)
5) Sidney Lodge No 568 Loyal Order of Moose ($595,295)
6) Ohio County & Independent Agricultural Societies ($583,213)
7) First United Methodist Foundation of Sidney Inc ($336,959)
8) Sidney-Shelby County YMCA Foundation Inc ($325,920)
9) Sidney-Shelby Economic Partnership ($230,423)
10) Senior Center of Sidney Shelby County ($229,731)
11) Sidney Athletic Booster Group Inc. ($216,937)
12) Sidney-Shelby County Workforce Partnership ($179,727)
13) Sidney Alive ($174,125)
14) Sidney Post 217 American Legion Baseball ($111,370)
15) Sidney Vespa Quarterback Club Inc. ($69,855)
Other Sidney health charities
1) Ohio Association of Emergency Medical Services ($53,736)
2) Ohio Association for Health Care Inc., Area 5
3) Shelby County Memorial Hospital Association Inc.
4) Compassionate Care of Shelby County Inc.
5) The Wilson Memorial Hospital Foundation
6) Wilson Memorial Hospital Auxiliary
7) St. Judes Dental Cooperative
8) Samaritan Works Inc.
Other Sidney sport charities
1) Sidney Youth Football Inc.
2) Sidney Amateur Baseball Comm
3) Shelby County Youth Soccer Club Inc.
4) Sidney Athletic Booster Group Inc.
5) Shelby County Special Olympics Association
6) Sidney-Shelby County YMCA Foundation Inc.
Other Sidney arts and historical preservation charities
1) Gateway Arts Council
2) Shelby County Historical Society
3) Sidney Big-Four Passenger Station Preservation Association
4) Shelby County Libraries Foundation
5) Sidney Civic Band Association
6) Sidney Dance Company
Other Sidney agricultural education charities, offered through The Ohio State University
1) Scissors to Sheep 4-H Club
2) New Horizons 4-H Club
3) Shelby County Sheep & Goat Council
4) Russia Livestock 4-H Club of Shelby
5) Dog Gone 4-H Club of Shelby County
6) Botkins Builders 4-H Club of Shelby
7) Merry Mod Makers 4-H Club Shelby
8) Creative Clovers 4H Club of Shelby
9) Shelby County Livestock
10) Paw Prints 4-H Club of Shelby County
11) Starting Farmers 4-H Club of Shelby
12) Shelby County 4-H Advisory Board
13) Horse and Rider 4-H Club of Shelby
14) Trail Riders 4-H Club of Shelby County
15) Fort Loramie Livestock 4-H Shelby
16) Houston Livestock 4-H Club Shelby
17) Equus Unlimited 4-H Club of Shelby
18) Botkins Livestock 4-H Club Shelby
19) Anna Livestock 4-H Club of Shelby
20) Kettlersville Livestock 4-H Club of Shelby
Other Sidney animal welfare and natural environment charities
1) Shelby County Ohio Humane Society
2) Shelby County Animal Rescue Foundation
3) Friends of the Shelby County Park District
Other Sidney veterans charities
1) Council of Religious Education of Sidney Ohio Inc. ($21,507)
2) Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States Department of Ohio: 4239 Shelby County Memorial Post ($18,382)
3) Ladies Auxiliary at the VFW Department of Ohio, 4239 Shelby County Memorial Auxiliary
4) American Legion Auxiliary
Other Sidney religious charities
1) Potters House Baptist Church of Sidney Inc.
2) Sidney First Church of the Nazarene
3) Emmanuel Baptist Church Sidney, 247189 WC
4) Sidney Baptist Church, 247130 West Central Association
5) Sidney First United Methodist Church
6) Sidney Missionary Church
7) Mount Zion Holy Union Church of God of Sidney Ohio
8) Faith Baptist Church Sidney, 247023 West Central Association
9) First Baptist Church
Other Sidney service organization charities
1) Rotary International, Sidney Rotary Club
2) Kiwanis International Inc., K000343 Sidney
3) International Association of Fire Fighters, L0912 Sidney
4) Shelby County Firefighters Association
5) Fraternal Order of Police
6) Sidney-Shelby Crime Stoppers Inc.
7) Sidney Chapter 813 Women of the Moose
Other Sidney social welfare organizations
1) Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby and Darke County
2) New Choices Inc.
3) Senior Center of Sidney Shelby County
4) Shelby County Arc Inc.
5) Charity League of Sidney