By Jim Donovan:  The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs has made it easier than ever to “Investigate Before You Donate” and learn how your favorite charities actually spend the money you give.

The Division today launched the free “Charity Lookup” application for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Built without using taxpayer money, the app is designed to help users make better-informed decisions before they donate to charities. The app is updated weekly, with information from the Division’s database on the financial records of 26,000 charities and nonprofits registered to solicit in New Jersey.  You can find out how much the charity spent during recent fiscal years on program costs, management costs, and fundraising.

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The Charity Lookup app currently is available only for Apple mobile devices, but will eventually be made available for users of the Android and other devices. It can be downloaded directly at :

Users can also find it by visiting the Apple App store on their mobile device and searching for “New Jersey Charity Search.”

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The app only provides information about charities that are currently registered with the Division. Charities not listed in the app may be exempt from registration (certain religious and educational organizations, and charities whose annual income includes less than $10,000 in public contributions and fundraising, are exempt from having to register with the State), may have had their registration revoked, or may have failed to comply with the law requiring that they register.  For information on charities that don’t appear in a search of the app, consumers may call the Division of Consumer Affairs’ Charities Registration Hotline at 973-504-6215.

The “New Jersey Charity Lookup” app is the second free app launched by the Division of Consumer Affairs.  The “New Jersey Professional License” app, launched in June 2011, allows users to access its license and registration database and find information about the approximately 600,000 individuals who provide services to the public, ranging from healthcare practitioners to home improvement contractors.

For a link to the professional license app visit: 

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