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The team from Charity Navigator, the nation's largest independent charity evaluator and leading donor advocate, shares their thoughts on emerging nonprofit-sector issues and offers tips to better inform your intelligent giving decisions.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

International Charity Fraud Awareness Week: Here's What You Need to Know


Did you know that this week is the first annual International Charity Fraud Awareness Week? 

While the Charities Commision for England & Wales has been holding this event for many years, this year marks the first time that the event has crossed international borders in the hopes of helping donors around the world avoid charity fraud. In collaboration with a variety of entities across the world, the Federal Trade Commission (or FTC) has released its own tips for donors that can help provide a solid base of knowledge for the generous individuals who may want to give to the causes they most care about.  



In the United States, we have a strong philanthropic sector, and when charity fraud occurs, it erodes the trust that the giving public has in the sector as a whole. Ultimately, this hurts everyone--from the upstanding charities that perform valuable work on a daily basis to the constituents who rely on their charitable services. Various branches of law enforcement serve a vital role in pursuing charity fraud where it occurs, and it is our responsibility as givers to do our due diligence and report potential fraud when we encounter it.  By working together, we can help to ensure a healthy and effective charitable sector.

To that end, Charity Navigator works every day to bring as much information as possible to the giving public in the United States. Launched in September of 2016, building off of our prior efforts, our Advisory System aims to ensure that our methodology captures fraudulent activity and potential misconduct within the sector. We do this to ensure that donors have access to the relevant information needed to make a confident giving decision. You can learn more about the Methodology for this system here.

When giving, be sure to do your research first. When you encounter an organization that you are unsure of, you can search Charity Navigator to confirm its tax-exempt status, as well as potentially check its rating or advisory status. You can also find a wide variety of tips for giving, including our own tips for Avoiding Charity Scams on the Charity Navigator website. 

You can keep up with the discussion around charity fraud by following #CharityFraudOut.

Written by Zachary Weinsteiger, Advisory System Manager at Charity Navigator. 

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