Charity scams can happen at any time of year, but unfortunately, scammers are even more active during the holiday season when they know people are in the spirit of giving. Avoid falling victim to a charity scam this year with these helpful tips:
Do your research before making a donation
Finding out as much as you can about a charity can help you avoid donating to a phony charity scam. Research before you donate to be certain you know where your donation is going and how it will benefit others in need. A good place to start is checking with the Internal Revenue Service to make sure the organization is registered as a 501(c) corporation. You can also learn more from charity-rating agencies such as the Better Business Bureau’s Give.org, GuideStar, or Charity Navigator.
Check website addresses carefully
Some scammers will create websites using similar names to well-known organizations in an attempt to trick unsuspecting donors into donating money online. Check the spelling of the organization’s name carefully and be sure you’re using the correct URL if you choose to donate online.
Ignore phone calls, emails or text messages from unknown sources asking for donations
Many scammers solicit donations from consumers by phone, email, and even text message. If you are unsure about the organization someone claims to represent, ignore their requests until you’ve done your research. Never let anyone rush you into making a donation – this is a common tactic used by scammers!
Know how your donation will be used
Unfortunately, some organizations aren’t as transparent as others about how they use donations. Avoid donating to any organization that cannot or will not provide detailed information about its mission, identity, and how your donations will be used for the cause they are asking you to support. This could be a sign that the organization is actually a phony charity.
At Ohio Valley Goodwill, we love sharing how your donated items make a difference in the local community! First, your donated goods are collected and sorted in our donation centers. Items that meet our standards for quality are resold in our retail stores at affordable prices. The proceeds from the sale of these goods help to support Ohio Valley Goodwill’s life-changing vocational programs and services for individuals with disabilities and veterans. Reusable materials that don’t meet our stores’ standards for quality and safety are responsibly recycled, which prevents the clogging of our local landfills.
This holiday season, we encourage you to donate wisely by giving to charities you know and trust. When you choose to donate to Ohio Valley Goodwill, you can rest assured that your good deed will make a powerful impact for individuals in your community looking to find a job and build vocational skills. Best of all, donating your stuff to Ohio Valley Goodwill is quick, convenient, and easy! Find your nearest donation site or retail store and become a job creator today!