May 5 is Giving Tuesday, and the Better Business Bureau Serving West Michigan hopes you are being careful about who you are donating your money to.
Especially during these unusual times, scams aimed at freeing you from your charitable money are rampant, just at a time when services provided by nonprofit organizations are critically needed.
“Before giving, it is important that donors do their research and make sure they know where their money is going and how it is going to be used,” says BBBSWM president Phil Catlett.
The BBB points to three important things we all need to do before making donations:
Do your homework.
- You can do research on nonprofits through the BBB’s website or Give.org.
- Check to see if the organization is registered as a non-profit status through the IRS website.
- Actually talk to the organization about their mission and how your money will be used.
Be suspicious of emotional or similar names.
- Take note of any organization names that seem similar to but not exactly a name you would be familiar with.
- Be careful of charities that claim to be linked to law enforcement, veterans, or service personnel.
Don’t donate immediately.
- Many charities solicit by phone, but you don’t have to give on the phone right away.
- Take their information, then take time to research.
- Wait and contact the charity directly to make a donation.