Updates for the Week
News Around Lynnhaven
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Tips for Donating
Tips for Seniors
Tips For Donating
Charity Navigator's tips for giving on these websites include:
- Avoid telemarketers. Instead, ask them to send you written information
about the organization. These for-profit professional fundraisers keep from
25% — 95% of the money contributed. If you like what you hear on the phone,
look up the charity, and when satisfied that it is a cause you want to
support, send a check or contribute online directly to the organization
(never send cash), cutting out the middleman telemarketing organization,
ensuring that 100% of your contribution goes where intended.
- Be careful of imposters and sound-alike names. How many of us can tell
the difference between an appeal from the Children's
Charity Fund and the
Children's Defense Fund, or the
Ovarian Cancer National Alliance and the
National Ovarian Cancer Coalition? Their names sound the same, but their
performances are very different. Scammers also count on you not being able
to tell the difference. Unfortunately, bogus charities often claim to be
police or firefighter organizations.
- Don't take a mailer's or caller's word that you gave before. Check your
records or keep a list of the charities you have given to near your phone(s).
And if you do contribute to a legitimate charity, specifically request that
they NOT sell or give your information to any other organization. Otherwise,
they will share it... which is probably why you are being solicited by
organizations that you never contributed to.
And if your information has been shared and you start to get a rash
of mail solicitations,
read about how you can stop them.
- Don't allow yourself to be pressured. Well-run and authentic charities
do NOT use pressure tactics. And never, ever give
your social security number, credit card or bank account information, or
your birth date over the phone.
- Don't feel obligated to make a donation to charities that send you a
gift (e.g., mailing labels, cards, etc.). Check out the charity and only
contribute to ones that you want to support.
- Make sure your donation is tax deductible, that the charity is
registered as a nonprofit with the IRS. If it isn't, it's probably a scam...
and don't take their word for it. Verify it yourself by checking the Charity
Navigator or similar website. And remember that tax exempt and tax
deductible are not the same.
- Tax Exempt —
charity or organization does not have to report/file its financial
information with the IRS or pay taxes, although it may be a good and
legitimate cause (e.g., the Salvation Army). To determine if a group has
tax-exempt status, go to the
Internal Revenue Services
- Tax Deductible — The charity is
considered a public charity and is required to report its financial
information to the IRS, divulging its income and how it spends its
funds. You can deduct what you contribute to them on your federal income
tax returns. There are over 20 categories of tax-exempt organizations,
but only a few also also qualify as tax deductible.
Tips for Seniors
All too frequently the elderly are the victims of charitable fraud. The
following just summarizes Charity Navigator's
tips for seniors.
Tips for Older Donors to read the whole article to protect a friend or
family member, yourself, or your nest egg.
- Don't succumb to pressure tactics.
- Verify their claims that you've
contributed in the past.
- Don't feel compelled to give because
you received a gift.
- Be careful of imposters.
- Hang up the phone.
- Make sure that your donation is
- Research the charity before you give.
- Send your donation directly to the
- Tell the charity not to share your
For additional useful information at Charity
Navigator, click on:
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