Tis the season for requests for donations to charities to increase...but how can you tell if your donation is going to a good cause? The pitches come by phone, mail or even in person to give to various causes.
Everyone wants to help a good cause if they can - but your Better Business Bureau urges you not to let your good judgment take a holiday when making donation decisions. Be sure that the organization asking for your money or other contributions is on the up-and-up. We offer you some questions you should ask before donating this holiday season:
Is it a charity you can trust? Make sure it's not some fraudulent group using a sound-alike name of a reputable organization to fool you into giving to them. Get their complete name and contact information.
Check out the group with your BBB. We have access to reports on local, state and national charities that have provided the BBB with information about their programs and fundraising. Log onto www.give.org.
How will the charity use your donation? Beware of appeals that pull your heartstrings but don't really explain exactly HOW your donation will help. Ask what percentage of your donation goes to the actual cause and how much goes to fundraising.
Is there high pressure to give NOW? Don't give in to pressure to give money on the spot, by phone with a credit card or a runner coming to get the donation before you can check it out. The charity that needs your gift today will welcome it tomorrow.
If a charity's answers to your questions are vague or evasive, or if a collector asks you for cash only or to make out a check to him or her & not the charity, don't fall for it!
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Be a Don't Fall for It! informant! If you have something to share you believe may be a fraudulent offer or scam, please let the BBB know! Call us at (859) 259-1008 or toll-free, 1-800-866-6668, or email us at email@example.com.