RIAG: Do your homework before donating on ‘Giving Tuesday’


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are all about the deals, Giving Tuesday is all about giving back. However, before you donate to your charity of choice, Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin is urging you to do your research.

“It’s important to think not just with our hearts, but also with our heads this time of year. The generosity of many Rhode Islanders enables others to have a happy holiday season, but before handing over a donation, it is important to do your research, ask questions about the organization’s track record, and how your money will be spent,” said Attorney General Kilmartin.

Before you make a donation, Kilmartin offers these tips:

  • Verify the legitimacy of the organization.
    • Several websites, including charitynavigator.org, www.give.org, and www.guidestar.org provide helpful information regarding numerous charities.
    • These websites can be a useful starting point for consumers looking to research companies prior to making a donation.
  • Find out how your donation will be used and what percentage of the funds will be used for programming and how much will be spent on administrative costs.
  • Be careful of charities with names that sound impressive or resemble those of other organizations.
    • Some scam artists use names similar to reputable organizations to confuse donors.
  • Do not pay bills or invoices you have received from charities unless you know you have already made a commitment to support them.
  • Never send cash!
    • Always contribute by check or credit card and donate directly to the charity.
  • Remember to ask for a receipt and a statement that the contribution is tax deductible.
  • If solicited in person, ask to see identification for both the solicitor and the charity.
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