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If you give, don't get taken

by Becky C | Sep 07, 2017
With the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey, wildfires raging across the Pacific Northwest, and Hurricane Irma pummeling the Caribbean and heading towards Florida, many of us want to help. 

The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) offers a checklist of things to keep in mind before giving to a charity.  Scammers are out there, ready to prey upon our good will -- and many of them are good at what they do.  Please take some time to review the FTC's checklist.  At the very least, research any charity far enough to make sure it's legitimate.  Scam charities often go by names so similar to actual charities that they manage to snag money intended for a genuine cause.

A more specific source worth reading is an article recently published by Forbes "Help Houston: 4 Ways to Avoid Fake Harvey Charities."  Among other things, this article highlights some of the highest-rated local non-profits currently working in the Houston area.  It also includes a cautionary note about crowdfunding.

That said, my Facebook newsfeed has been full of questions about the percentage of donations that go to relief, rather than administrative costs.  If that's on your mind as well, two online resources immediately come to mind:  Charity Navigator and CharityWatch.  Both are reputable sources which provide information on the percentage of donations spent on charitable programs versus administrative expenses.

 

Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her favorite books are The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz and The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman..

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