Does your donated money go to the right hands?
In the wake of recent tragedy, such as super-storm sandy, many organizations are reaching out for donations. While groups like the Red Cross and Salvation Army are well-known and trustworthy, other less-trustworthy groups may be trying to take advantage, a fact that's leaving donors weary.
"A lot of times I've been called by police or different fire organizations and you find out it's not even the firemen doing the soliciting, it's a paid for organization and they have an incredibly high overhead so the organization that you want to funnel your money to is not getting it," said a Grand Junction local.
Another citizen from Grand Junction said, "I just don't understand how people could want to take advantage of other people in that manner, so givers beware."
In tough economic times like these, people want to be extra careful about where their money goes...
"Much more comfortable volunteering at a soup kitchen, doing something with your time, as opposed to giving money."
Police Information Coordinator for the Police Department, Kate Porras said, "Check when someone comes to your door, calls you on the phone, or you see them set up somewhere, make sure you know who that person is and what they're going to do with it. if it's a charitable organization that you're familiar with, go directly to the organization use their contact information to proactively get a hold with them."
The police department also suggests asking for identification and following up with a phone call directly to the organization. There final tip, don't feel rushed...
"A lot of people feel they have to do it right away, as soon as someone asks about it, and that's simply not the case, these places will be willing to wait a little bit for you to have time to research them to make sure you're giving money to the right people," added Porras.
If all else fails, save that money and send it to an organization you're familiar with.
Another Grand Junction Citizen said, "I wouldn't give to an unknown organization, because there are so many recognized organizations out there."
If you're looking to give money to an online charity, before you donate you should check that the program is in fact legitimate.
There's a website that helps people navigate directly to real charities and helps you avoid all the fake ones. If you don't find your charity on the site, you may want to reconsider your donation.
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