Donating Safely To Charities
Donating to a local church or national charity is a great way to do some good for your community. Unfortunately not everyone is as kind hearted, as there are a number of fraudulent scammers who prey on people who want to do the right thing. Keep these tips in mind the next time you are thinking about donating to a charity.
Investigate the charity
Be sure to thoroughly check out the charity you plan to donate to. Look for the mission statement and a list of board of directors on their website. It's best to call and speak to someone about their needs and preferred methods of donation.
Donate any money directly to the charity you want to help. This will help ensure it will do the most good, as even legitimate agencies take a portion of a donation to cover administrative costs. If you are making a donation through a charity's website, be sure that they have proper encryption programming to protect your credit card information.
Be wary of email solicitations
Email is a common way for scammers to entice people. Spam emails often contain links to websites that look like legitimate organizations asking for credit card and personal information. If you receive an email from a potential charity, be sure to research the organization before making any donation.
Stick to well-known charities
The safest way to donate is to do so to large, dependable national organizations like the American Red Cross or the National Wildlife Federation. These well-known organizations will ensure your money goes to a cause you support. Locally, religious organizations are often affiliated with charities, so check with your neighborhood church to see what charities its members support.
Keep clear records
Be sure to keep a copy of any receipts the charity gives you. Charitable donations are tax deductible and you will need copies of the receipts come tax time.