(from Internal Revenue Service)
Exempt Purposes - Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3)
The exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3) are charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition, and preventing cruelty to children or animals. The term charitable is used in its generally accepted legal sense and includes relief of the poor, the distressed, or the underprivileged; advancement of religion; advancement of education or science; erecting or maintaining public buildings, monuments, or works; lessening the burdens of government; lessening neighborhood tensions; eliminating prejudice and discrimination; defending human and civil rights secured by law; and combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency.
According to this, the religion Jehovah's Witnesses meet the standard of qualification as a "charitable" organization. Legally. Explicitly.
However, there are two courts in this country and in every country with a legal system. There is the court of Law and there is the court of public opinion.
What good works do Jehovah's Witnesses accomplish with the funds that are donated to them? Surely there are some, such as the Relief work they sponsor (in exchange for insurance reimbursement), medical services for long-time residents of Bethel or long-time foreign missionaries, defending their religion's Constitutional right to preach publicly, refuse military service, refuse to salute the flag, and uphold other such religion-specific convictions.
What do they actively do for their community? On the other hand, where do they actively spend donated monies that would appall the community that donates to them, if only they knew about it?
This is supposed to be just a preliminary to an exhaustive research effort, so please offer any ideas you have.