Ensuring Your Charitable Donation Goes to a Legitimate and Effective Charity
Giving back feels good and brings a great sense of joy. Unfortunately, there are people out there that will use anything to take your money from you and they are most successful when they can play on your emotions.
One example of this is the natural disasters like the recent hurricanes that have done so much damage and caused immeasurable suffering in the U.S. These scam artists play on your desire to help by sending out professional looking emails with gut-wrenching pictures asking you to donate. The problem is that if you click through the link in the email all you are going to do is help put another Mercedes in their garage.
How can you still give and know that your donation is getting into the right hands and going to do the most good? First, never click on the link in an email asking you to give…EVER! Let’s say it came from the American Red Cross and you have given to them in the past. It’s better to just pull up a web browser and enter their address directly or search by their name and verify that the search result you’re clicking on looks like the URL for the legitimate organization. The scammers are going to get a domain that looks just like the real one so unless you really look over the link carefully it could be a fake, for example: www.redcrosss.org. At a quick glance, the web address looks correct until you notice that there is an extra “s”.
You may also want to verify that a charity spends most of your hard-earned donation helping people and not flying their staff around first class to exotic resorts. Here is one good resource you can use to verify that organizations are effective in their mission: https://www.charitywatch.org/home.