(KTXL) — When law enforcement agencies investigate a crime, sometimes they ask the public for information and offer a reward to encourage community members to come forward.  

That reward is usually from Crime Stoppers, a community program that helps people provide anonymous information about criminal activity. 

Crime Stoppers USA serves as an umbrella nonprofit organization for the main Crime Stoppers program. There are many member programs and Crime Stoppers affiliations across the United States, including the Sacramento Valley Crime Stoppers. 

So where does the money from Crime Stoppers come from? 

According to the Sacramento Valley Crime Stoppers website, its funding comes from private donations and fundraising. The reward money paid out is from those funds that were raised and donations from concerned citizens and businesses, Crime Stoppers said. 

No tax dollars are involved, as Crime Stoppers is a nonprofit tax-exempt charitable organization. Crime Stoppers also doesn’t take funding from the federal government. 

Evaluations of rewards and crimes are from a community board of directors. At the Sacramento Valley Crime Stoppers, the board is made up of people from the area and meets on a monthly basis to evaluate arrests. 

Once they evaluate arrests, they decide on the size of the rewards, which are then distributed privately to callers, according to Sacramento Valley Crime Stoppers. 

The organization said callers are eligible for rewards up to $1,000, but many of them choose not to collect their rewards. 

How does Crime Stoppers work? 

Sacramento Valley Crime Stoppers says on its website it relies on cooperation between police, media and the community to provide a flow of information about crime and criminals. 

To report a tip and be eligible for a reward, Sacramento Valley Crime Stoppers said tips must be sent online on the website, the “P3 Tips” mobile app or phone. 

People in the Sacramento area can call Crime Stoppers at 916-443-HELP or 1-800-AA-CRIME. 

To send online tips, people can submit a tip on its website. The submit a tip option on the How it Works page on the website takes you to a separate form to fill out.