Finding the right charity to donate money to during the holidays can be a difficult process. You want to make sure the money you give is going to the right people.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. To help you find a trustworthy charity this holiday season, we’ve compiled a list of what you should do before making a donation. Here are some of the most important tips.
1. Get Information: Before making a charitable donation, get the organization’s name, address, phone number and materials about the charity. Also, be sure to check out the charity’s website. Never donate money to charities that don’t give you any information.
2. Double Check Names: Sometimes questionable charities will have a name similar to a popular charitable organization. Be sure to check the organization’s website and request written information on the charity. The Better Business Bureau has a list of trustworthy charities.
3. Avoid Giving Cash: If an unknown charity is asking for cash, it may be a scam. Avoid giving cash donations unless it’s a well-known charity such as the Salvation Army Christmas Charity. If a charity sends a “currier” to collect the money, this may also be the sign of a scam.
4. Follow The Money: Before making a donation, be sure to ask where the money goes. You want to give to charities where a majority of the dollars go to programs. Good rates are between 60-75 percent.
5. Don’t Be Intimidated: If the person representing the charity is pushy or intimidating, don’t donate. This could be the sign of a scam. Just because your talking with a charity, does not mean you have to donate.
6. Don’t Get Caught Up In Stories: A lot of questionable charities will tell you gripping sob stories about the people you’re helping. Do not base your donation on the story. Base it on how they plan to use the donated money.
7. Keep Records: For tax purposes it is important to keep records of all charitable donations. It’s also important to keep records to protect yourself against scams. After making a charitable donation, be sure to keep the organization’s name, address and phone number with your paperwork.
MOST IMPORTANTLY … Trust Your Gut: If something doesn’t feel right – don’t donate. There are plenty of great charitable organizations out there. Talk with family, friends and religious leaders to find the right charity for you this holiday season.