The Federal Trade Commission’s “Helping Victims of the Bombing in Boston – Make Sure Your Donations Count” reminds consumers to do some research on where they intend to donate before doing so.
The agency makes clear that charitable giving is important. It also is important to ensure that donations go to a reputable organization that will use the money as promised – and as you intend.
“Urgent appeals” for donations made by telephone, email, and online during times of crisis and national tragedy may not be on the up-and-up.
The FTC notes that legitimate charities may face competition from unscrupulous people who either solicit for bogus charities or aren’t entirely honest about how a so-called charity will use your contribution.
Therefore, make sure to donate to support charities you trust.
It is OK to ask those contacting you for donations if they are paid for their solicitations, by whom, and the amount of a donation that will go to the charity.
When donating, do not send cash; this helps to ensure there is a record of the donation.
Also, remember to protect personal information from identity theft by giving to legitimate organizations.
To read the full blog and for additional information, visit www.consumer.ftc.gov.
For an FTC audio clip offering tips on charitable giving, listen to “Donating to Charity?” at www.consumer.ftc.gov/media/audio-0050-donating-charity.
Opinions are solely the writer's. Joseph Pellicciotti is an IU Northwest faculty member and administrator. The article is for informational purposes only and not intended as specific advice. Consult your professional advisor before taking action. Author does not endorse/guarantee content within websites.