Vet charities online before making any donations

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Vet charities online before making any donations
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Each year at this time, Americans prove themselves to be the most generous people on planet Earth. We as a nation give more to charity than any other people anywhere else. But if you are considering giving a donation this Christmas season, how can you ensure you’re giving to the right people?

This is the time of year when the sleazoids come out pretending to be legitimate charities. Too often they often have names that are very similar to legitimate groups. In other cases, you may have an otherwise legit charity that means wells,  but they don’t spend your charitable contributions wisely. I want to be sure your get the most bank for your buck.

So here’s my advice: First, I like for you to give to organizations that you have firsthand knowledge of. Maybe you volunteered with a group or maybe you benefited from their services.  Second, I don’t want you to give based on a phone call, something that comes in your mailbox or being pressured by an in-person solicitor. Take your time making up your mind and use websites like CharityNavigator.com and Give.org to vet charities online. Both sites will allow you to check the exact name of a charity to make sure you’re giving to legit groups.

Beware that aging parents and grandparents are the No. 1 target of charity rip-offs. My own mother gets hundreds of solicitations each month — the bulk of them bogus — because she once gave money to a fake charity. That put her name on every sucker list out there. Make sure your loved ones don’t end up giving money away to impostors!

Editor’s note: Today’s broadcast included segments from the 20th anniversary of Clark’s Christmas Kids. Because of the generosity of Clark’s listeners, the Christmas Kids Campaign collects about half of all the gifts the Georgia Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS) gives to children in foster care. Donate online now.

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Clark Howard About the author:
Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. More about Clark
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