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Avoiding Charity Fraud

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November 13, 2009

How do you know when someone is sincere pertaining to asking for donations for different organizations?

By claraetta Olney from Tyrone, OK

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Answers

November 13, 20090 found this helpful

Clairetta, I know that some may not agree with this, but, I had to make a stand because of too many problems with scamming us. I just will not send any money through the internet, the telephone, the mail, and door to door, never again.

I will only do this by my terms for contacting who I believe are legitimate charities, and even then researching them, it can still be questionable if they are real or not, especially on the internet. I also prefer to volunteer directly at sites.

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November 13, 20090 found this helpful

The people you need to be especially careful of are the ones that go door to door. In Seattle/Tacoma we've recently had problems with people taking advantage of the Homeless by getting them to go door to door collecting funds for bogus charities. Sometimes they sell subscriptions & the family that orders & pays for them never receive the magazines. Many of these "door to door" people prefer cash to checks.

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If it's a local charity, call or go online to your states Attorney General's office or the Better Business Bureau. If it's a Christian Charity, all of the good ones join a special organization that's independent & looks at their books each year & makes public just how much of the money actually goes back to the charity. Avoid the people that call on the phone for the Police & Firefighters fundraisers because the fundraisers get nearly 80 percent of the funds while the firefighters get only 20 % or less. These guys are professional fundraisers, hired to make money & paid a very high percentage of the money collected.

You are much better off just sending your money directly to a Police or Firefighters charity & not though the professional fundraisers. A good charity will have at least 80% if not more of the money raised will go back into the actual charity & less than 20 % on advertising! Back during the 1980's I used to donate on a regular basis to "Christian Aid for Romania" & over 95% of the money went to helping the poor in Romania because all of the work was done by volunteers. The only money spent, was in buying bulk food (which the volunteers put into smaller individual packages) & shipping the food over-seas.

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Here's several of the over-watch organizations:
Ministry Watch (A donor advocate that independently researches and rates Christian ministries in the USA)
http://www.ministrywatch.com
http://www.char  .org/azlist.html

Any good Charity will offer you a way to look at their books. Just ask "How much money goes to the cause" & Can you verify this? They will have a quick way to verify that they are indeed a Charity on the "up & up"... & this should be verified by an independent organization. Also, don't forget, if it's in your state you can always call your state Attorney General or the BBB.

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November 13, 20090 found this helpful

I refuse to give to any charity that askd me for money. I explain that I have my own charities that I contribute to and I am not asking you to contribute to my charities. I have 6 charities I contribute to every year.

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November 14, 20090 found this helpful

Ditto what has been said so far. I am very leery of the solicitations from mail, email, phone and door to door. Too many non legit ones especially this time of year and in these hard times. I pick the charites myself like Kas2 said and after doing research online. I tend to stick to familiar names or local charities and small charities. And ones that don't sell my name out.

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Here is another link to check out charities: http://www.charitynavigator.org/

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