Charitable giving is more than important – it is often the only source of help that the charity’s beneficiaries receive. Unfortunately, not all charity organizations are what they seem. Some are outright scams, who only want to part you from the money that you donate.
Inquire After Taxes
The first thing that you need to do when searching for a trustworthy charity is ask the charity contact person if your donation can be deducted from your taxes. If the charity is real, then chances are good that the donation can be taken off your annual taxes, even if you decide not to do so.
What Percentage Goes to Charity?
Another way to separate out the scam artists is to ask how much of your donation will actually go toward the cause. A real charity such as the Salvation Army or ASPCA will donate a minimum of sixty percent to the cause, reserving the rest of the money for operating costs.
Be Wary of Telemarketers
If you receive a phone call about giving money to a charity, it is wise to hang up. Never give money over the phone to a charity, unless you made the call to them yourself. Scammers are notorious for calling and requesting charitable donations, only to bilk people out of their hard-earned money in the name of doing good.
Finally, you might consider choosing a local charity. This way, you can actually see the results of the charity’s work in the community and know that your money went to a good cause.