Tips to Avoid Scams on #GivingTuesday

November 27, 2014 - Serving Seniors

Giving Tuesday is a worldwide effort to raise awareness and motivate action for the common good. Whigive tuesle the holidays are often a time to give back, it’s also a time to make sure that your financial and volunteer contributions are wisely donated. Cyber criminals capitalize on the generosity of the public and set up fake charity sites and pocket the donations. Here are some helpful tips to avoid scams and ensure you are giving to a reputable organization on Giving Tuesday.

  • Only give to a charity you know. Be suspicious of email solicitations unless you have previously provided your email address to a charity.
  • Do your research! Be on the lookout for “sound alike” charities and street-corner collectors. There are a variety of online resources that provide free access to comprehensive reports about non-profit organizations. Start with a visit to California Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts, Guidestar and Charity Navigator. Plus, go to the organization’s website and really get a good understanding of what the charity does and who benefits from your donation.
  • Do not send money to a P.O. Box. Make sure the organization has an actual street address, where you can go and see the charity in action at anytime. Also, do not send cash and do not wire money.
  • Take precaution when donating online. Be aware of fake charities advertised on social media pages. Beware of phony websites and donate though a website that is secure by looking for “https” not “http.” Also, do not open unsolicited e-mail appeals because they can be an attempt to attain important personal information.
  • Ask for tour of their location. Or even better just show up unannounced. A reputable charity would be delighted to give you a tour on the spot.
  • There should be no hard sell. A charity that can use your money today will welcome it just as much tomorrow.
  • If you think you’ve been scammed, notify the authorities immediately.

San Diego is consistently rated among the most philanthropic cities and we know residents have a kind heart.  Take these tips with you wherever you decide to give this coming Tuesday.  Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

An Attitude of Gratitude

November 26, 2014 - Serving Seniors

With Thanksgiving festivities underway there is an obvious emphasis on gratitude.  Many of us have the tradition of going around the table and giving thanks before digging into our plates of turkey and creamy potatoes.  In that same spirit, we asked our seniors what they’re grateful for at the moment.  Many of our clients are living at or below the poverty level and rely heavily on our center for meals and services yet most maintain an attitude of gratitude for what little they have. Let it be a lesson to us all that no matter our walk of life, there is always something to be thankful for. We are grateful for the seniors who touch our lives every day.

We hope you enjoy Thanksgiving along with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but don’t forget about Giving Tuesday!  #GivingTuesday is a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, people from around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give. We have so much to be grateful for, now it’s time to give back. When Tuesday rolls around, we’d love for you to join the generosity movement and help us feed seniors in need. Have a wonderful holiday!

Giving Tuesday

 

 

Giving Tuesday: Tips on Choosing A Charity to Support

December 2, 2013 - Serving Seniors

December 3rd is Giving Tuesday, a worldwide effort to raise awareness and motivate action for the common good.  But it’s also prime time for scammers and cyber criminals to capitalize on the generosity of the public, especially during natural disaster events and set up fake charity sites and pocket the donations.

Here are a few TIPS on how to choose a legitimate organization and avoid being scammed. 

  • Do your research! Research an organization before you Giving Tuesdaydonate. There are a variety of online resources that provide free access to comprehensive reports about non-profit organizations. Start with a visit to California Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts (www.oag.ca.gov/charities), Guidestar (www.guidestar.com) and Charity Navigator (www.charitynavigator.org). Plus, go to the organization’s website and really get a good understanding of what the charity does and who benefits from your donation.
  • Ask questions. Real charities are able to tell you how they use their donations and what portion of your contribution will go directly to the group they are trying to help. Ideally, at least 85 cents of every dollar raised should go directly to programs and services of the charitable organization, with the minimal amount remaining to underwrite things like rent, utilities and other operational expenses. Also, ask them for a 990 tax form. If they cannot give you this information – or hesitate for any reason in providing the document — don’t give them your money.
  • Do not send to a P.O. Box. Make sure the organization has an actual street address, where you can go and see the charity in action at anytime. Also, do not send cash and do not wire money.
  • Take precaution when donating online. Beware of phony websites and donate though a website that is secure by looking for “https” not “http.” Also, do not open unsolicited e-mail appeals because they can be an attempt to attain important personal information.
  • Ask for a tour. Or even better just show up unannounced. A reputable charity would be delighted to give you a tour on the spot.
  • There should be no hard sell. Walk away from anyone who says you must donate today or offers to come by your house to pick up a check.  A reputable charity will be delighted to accept a gift today, next week, next month or even next year.

To learn more about choosing a charity, watch Paul Downey’s interview on KUSI.

Why this is Important

San Diego was rated the most philanthropic by Charity Navigator in June 2013, so we know that residents have a kind heart. Often during this time of year, con artists take advantage of the generosity of San Diegans over the phone, via the mail, in person and online. These individuals take the hard-earned money for themselves, rather than for reputable and legitimate non-profit organizations that serve the most vulnerable in our community.

More About Giving Tuesday

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/11/26/celebrate-givingtuesday

 

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