In every corner of the country, dinner will be interrupted tonight by phone solicitors raising money for charity.

Some of these are good charities. A lot of them aren’t.

The U.S. has about 1.6 million charities that are required to file annual tax forms with the IRS. About 6,000 charities across the country report that they rely on phone solicitors and telemarketing firms to raise money. Most reputable charities avoid phone solicitors because it costs too much.

Our series America’s Worst Charities shows what happens in the worst cases – 98 cents of every dollar raised is squandered. The 50 worst charities wasted more than $1 billion in the past decade dialing for contributions. We reported the stories over the course of a year with Florida’s Tampa Bay Times. CNN joined our partnership in March.

So when the phone rings, how can you tell the difference between a good and bad charity? We’ve created some tools and tips to keep handy. And we’ve provided an easy-to-download list of the 50 charities in America that spend the most on phone solicitors.

Among the tools is a postcard that families can keep by the phone that includes questions to ask telemarketers, such as: What’s the exact name of the charity the caller is raising money for? Oftentimes, these charities sound similar to well-known groups. You might also ask the caller to break down what percentage of the money will make it to the charity. (Bet that prompts a supervisor to jump on the line.)

We have a limited supply of these postcards that we will mail to community groups. You can fill out an electronic order form here.

There also are some good resources to help consumers check out charities, including Charity Navigator and GuideStar USA.

But we thought we’d go one better – and do some of the leg work for you.

In a unique piece of engagement and outreach, we are asking the public to recommend names of charities that may warrant scrutiny. We’ve already received dozens of tips since we launched the project.

If you’ve been called at home, there’s an excellent chance the charity is seeing only a fraction of the money raised by its solicitors.

So we’d like you to jot down the names of those charities and send them our way. We can’t investigate every lead, but we’ll do our best to dive in on some.

We’ve put together a confidential form for you to submit information to our reporters who will sift through the responses. The more detailed information you can provide, the more leads we’ll have to work with.

We’ll report back on our progress.

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Mark Katches is a past editorial director for The Center for Investigative Reporting. He is currently editor of the Oregonian and vice president of content for the Oregonian Media Group. Previously, he built and ran investigative teams at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Orange County Register. Mark was the primary editor of Pulitzer Prize-winning projects in both 2008 and 2010 and edited or managed five other stories that were Pulitzer finalists. Projects he edited or directed also have won the George Polk Award, the IRE award and the Scripps-Howard National Journalism Award as well as the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, the Worth Bingham Prize, the Sigma Delta Chi Award and the National Headliner Award. Multiplatform projects produced by CIR staff under Mark's guidance won a national News & Documentary Emmy, two Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, a George Foster Peabody Award and an Edward R. Murrow Award. He has overseen projects or websites that have won four Online Journalism Awards in the last decade, in addition to logging more than a dozen OJA finalists. In 2001, he was part of a reporting team that won the Gerald Loeb and IRE awards for a series of stories detailing the rising profits from the human tissue trade. He completed a Punch Sulzberger Fellowship at Columbia University in 2013 and has taught reporting classes as an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California, UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism and Stanford University. Mark served on the board of directors of Investigative Reporters and Editors for four years and oversaw the IRE mentorship program for six years.