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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.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Another Fake Charity

When we give, we do so with the aim of helping others advance in life and alleviating hardship. Keeping why we give in mind, it is particularly enraging whenever we hear about a charity scam. This week, yet another “organization” has joined the fake charity ranks.
In Texas, a group of men were going door to door soliciting cash donations. They claimed that their organization, United Soldiers Outreach, LLC, would use these donations to send care packages to American soldiers stationed abroad. When police stopped the men, they confiscated over $500.

No arrests have been made, as police have yet to determine if the men were aware they were working for an illegitimate organization or not. Police are seeking to refund donations made by check to this “organization.” But those who gave cash or goods are probably out of luck.

Before making a donation, make sure you ask the charity questions about their legitimacy, their results, and their goals.  In fact, a better way to give is to flip this process upside down. Instead of reacting to someone asking you for support, take the time to identify great charities doing the work you are passionate about supporting. Once you become a proactive, rather than a reactive, giver, you’ll be able to rest assured that your hard-earned money is going to the causes you care about supporting.

Unsure what to ask charities before donating? Click here to see questions we’ve drafted for you!

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