(WYTV) – The holiday season is the most charitable time of the year. A lot of families are struggling through the pandemic and a lot of charities are faced with an overwhelming need for donations.
However, before you give this “Giving Tuesday,” make sure your money is going to a legitimate cause.
It’s something Charity Navigator has strived for since 2001.
Their Director of Marketing Stacy Steele says there are easy ways for you to do that.
“Always, always use a 501c3. I cannot stress that enough,” Steele said.
In other words, a registered charitable organization. It will have an employer identification number that you can use to verify it’s legit.
Many organizations list them on their websites.
“The easiest way and fasts way is to ask the organization outright,” Steele said.
Watch out for red flags from fraudulent organizations that reach out to you. For example, suspicious email addresses, constant phone calls asking for money or several errors on their website.
“Chances are they are not who they claim to be,” Steele said.
When it comes to donating money, she suggests writing a check or using a credit card. Those transactions can be traced or canceled if necessary.
“You need to trust your instinct,” Steele said. “If someone is asking you for cash and pressure you to hand over gift cards or send using a wire transfer, that’s not right.”