How do I know if a grant is legitimate?

Maryland woman loses $30,000 after being offered a $50,000 ...
How do I know if that grant is for a good cause? The answer is “don’t.” There are people – many of them – who think that money given to organizations to do good (as opposed to doing politics) is a good idea (i.e., “giving to the ‘right’ people or organizations” — see for instance, the list at the end of the post) but are not willing to prove any of this out — they just want to use that power to accomplish their own political goals, which are always “the right things” in their minds. To illustrate this, one of my best-known friends — who I really love and respect — sent an email to the US Chamber Foundation recently. This email contained this text: I just wanted to let you know how grateful I am that the folks in the US Chamber are so supportive of your non-profits work I can no longer give to them. I will happily fund any organizations I want to but have yet to find one that will help the right causes. What do you see as the best way to help us accomplish our goals? My sense from our conversations is that you seem like the kind of philanthropist that doesn’t mind making some donations of the “right” kinds of money. The question, though, is whether you’re being selective in the types of organizations you give money to — and are you doing it in a way that ensures that they’re doing the right things you’re supporting? My wife worked for a think tank. I gave her a $100,000 grant for social impact research. She decided that instead of spending the money, how about focusing it on a nonprofit organization — one focused on the causes that were the most important to her — one that was also focused on social impact research? Asking whether donors and granters have the same view on this issue is a tricky business. They have their “conscience” — their moral or religious views — that they might espouse, and then they have to think through whether that approach is going to work for them in their particular situation. If they don’t find any success, they might just choose to just give money to different organizations. As of this writing — it’s early July — I have no results for that. If you’re a donor who is concerned about the types of causes you’re supporting, then this may be one area where you need to think about how much money you give. For those of you who don’t think there’s a meaningful difference between giving to groups for “