In the Wake of a Tragedy, Make Sure Donations Count

After the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, many people are looking for a way to help, like making a donation to a charity or fund.

Doing some research first will help ensure that your donation will go to a reputable organization that will use the money as promised — and as you intend.

If you’re asked to make a charitable donation to support Newtown, consider these tips:

  • Donate to charities you know and trust. Be alert for charities that seem to have sprung up overnight.
  • Ask if a caller is a paid fundraiser, who they work for, and what percentage of your donation goes to the charity and to the fundraiser. If you don’t get a clear answer — or if you don’t like the answer you get — consider donating to a different organization.
  • Don’t give out personal or financial information — including your credit card or bank account number — unless you know the charity is reputable.
  • Never send cash: you can’t be sure the organization will receive your donation, and you won’t have a record for tax purposes.
  • Check out the charity with the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Watch, or GuideStar.
  • Find out if the charity or fundraiser must be registered in your state by contacting the National Association of State Charity Officials.

For more on the questions to ask and for a list of groups that can help you research a charity, go to ftc.gov/charityfraud.

Tagged with: charity, scam
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

I sent $49.95 to American Red Cross, who I also give blood. The Man who was "apparently" a spokesperson, promised that if I send the money right away, I would get like 49 Flying magazines. The Flying magazines never came. I have the check statement paid. I don't like scammers and fraudsters. I sent the money through PayPal so that this man could not get into my checking account for his own amusement. I had a Dell computer repair person SHAMMI directly take money from my account and never did anything to fix it. I argued with my bank who changed my check numbers and he keeps pinging my AOL / PNC account for $199.95 so like when I hear or see an advertisement about someone will make your computer go faster or some Dr. Quack solving my slight overweight, I don't believe it.

Leave a Comment

Commenting Policy

Read Our Privacy Act Statement

It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.