Pennsylvania – During the holidays, more charities are making their final appeals for the year… and unfortunately so are scammers.
To make sure that you’re donating to legitimate causes, always do your research.
Find the full list of tips at the Federal Trade Commission’s donation guide page.
Never feel obligated to donate to a cause right away. If someone is too pushy, that could be a scam. A good charity will always allow you to do your research and donate at a later time.
If you someone calls you and harasses you for a donation, feel free to just hang up. If it happens in person, it’s okay to walk away.
Never give cash, credit card numbers, or bank account numbers. Always write a check payable to the charity so you will have a record of your donation.
Beware of statements like “every penny goes to charity”… remember that all organizations have some kind of expenses, such as costs for maintaining their office building.
Don’t feel guilty about not supporting every charity that asks. Choose a few worthy causes that are close to your heart and make an effort to donate or volunteer with those.
Find out if the charity is registered by visiting www.charities.pa.gov.
You can also find more reports and ratings about how charitable organizations spend donations and how they conduct business with these websites.
The IRS’s Tax Exempt Organization Search tells you if your donation would be tax deductible.