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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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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Should You Text Your Donation?

Through many of the disasters in the last few months, you’ve most likely seen or heard about different ways to give a monetary donation to aid victims. And you’ve probably noticed that both your friends and the organizations you support are using social media, like Facebook and Twitter, to send a text to a number, which claims to send money directly to a charity.

But, it’s important to understand how text donations work.

Charities can register with a donation processor that works with different cell phone providers to add the agreed-upon set donation amount to the donor’s cell phone bill. Most times, however, text donation processors don’t waive their administrative fees when you donate. Double check to make sure the text-to-donate program you want to donate to doesn’t have this administrative fee before you hit ‘send.’

Should you text to donate? The answer is, it depends. Phone carriers sometimes have a limit on how much you can donate each month, so if you’re over $20 or $25, it’s better to donate to the organization through their website.

Companies like Facebook have made the alternative donation process easier, so if you’re looking to create a campaign and motivate your friends and family to support a cause, try creating a campaign through your profile. This is a great way to get more people involved in a cause and to see the impact that you’re making on the organization.

Lastly, always make sure to do your research. Before you donate, check into the organization’s financial health, as well as accountability and transparency to know that your donation will be used well.

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