Give to Charity Safely

December 17, 2011

It’s the holiday season. Are you in the giving mood?

It’s lovely that so many people, despite how tough it is out there, are donating money and items to charitable causes this month. But you want to do it right.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) offers these tips for donating responsibly:

*Make sure you know to whom you are donating. There are so many charities out there, it’s easy to blur names together. Be sure you know which charity you’re supporting.

*Make sure you are donating to a worthy charity. Visit to verify that a charity meets the BBB’s 20 Standards for Charity Accountability.

*Make sure the charity wants your stuff. It’s important to donate items in good condition. Worn out, unusable or unwanted donated goods end up costing charities money to toss. If you have a question about an item’s acceptability, call the charity and ask.

*Make sure you write a check. Do not send cash, and when you write a check, fill in the charity’s full official name, don’t make the check out to an individual or third party that might be collecting the donation.

*Make sure your online site is safe. Giving online with a credit or debit card is one of the most efficient ways to support a charity. Before you enter any numbers, inspect the organization’s privacy policy and ensure that the site is secure.

*Make sure you keep receipts. Canceled checks, credit card and bank statements can verify your contribution amount for income tax time.

If you don’t have money or items to donate, consider giving some of your time this holiday season to a worthy cause.

Categories: Education

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