Be careful when donating money to a charity, as not all of them are legitimate. What’s more, even properly established organizations spend varying amounts of the donations on the actual programs they support, so it’s important to do your research.
Before you donate:
- The following websites can help you determine whether an organization is reputable and how likely it is to use your money effectively and efficiently:
- Consider donating only to charities you know and trust.
- Never give out your credit card or bank account information to a telephone solicitor. Instead, ask the caller to mail you information.
Red flags that may indicate a scam
- High-pressure sales tactics or excessively emotional appeals.
- Unsolicited emails–especially from someone claiming to be a victim–asking for your credit card or bank account information.
- Insistence that you pay via cash or wire transfer.
- Charities that pop-up quickly following a tragedy or natural disaster.
- Organization refuses to provide detailed information about its identity, mission, costs, how the donation will be used or proof that contributions are tax-deductible.
- Uses a name that closely resembles that of a better-known, reputable organization.
You can report suspicious charitable solicitations to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Charities Division by calling 404-654-6021 or sending an email to [email protected].