How Much of Your Donation Goes To The Charity?

BEWARE OF SCAMS INVOLVING NEW 'SMART CHIP' CREDIT CARDS

We have written before about how much of the money you donate actually goes to the charity, but the former attorney general of New York provided fresh evidence that the game is still “rigged” — and not in your favor.

Data released by New York’s Attorney General Barbara Underwood at the end of 2018 indicated that of the $1.18 billion raised in 964 fundraising campaigns conducted by professional fundraisers in New York in 2017, the charities received $812 million or 69%, while the fundraisers got $372 million or 31%.

Pennies for Charity, the organization that provided that information, has the folllowing suggestions and/or actions you should consider before making your next donation:

— Be wary of deceptive practices and emotional appeals. Watch out for charities with names that resemble those of prominent or established organizations. Some charities use names similar to well-known charities in order to confuse donors. Be wary of emotional appeals that talk about problems, but are vague on how donational will be spent.

— Don’t disclose personal information. Never give your social security number or other personal information in response to a charitable solicitation. And never give out credit card information over thephone or to an organization your are not familiar with.

— Never give cash. Give your contribution by check made payable to the charity.

— If donating online or via text, make sure you are using secure methods of payment. Some text solicitations are scams. When donating online, make sure the website includes https:// in the web address.

— To help in a disaster, give to organizations you know or that have experience in this work. Ask if the charity has already worked in the affected area or has relationships with local relief organizations.

— Report suspicious organizations. If you believe an organization is misrepresenting its work or that a scam is taking place, contact the Attorney General’s Charities Bureau at charities.bureau@ag.ny.gov or call 212-416-8401.