Today is “Giving Tuesday” — a global initiative that urges people to contribute time or money to charitable causes — and the website givingtuesday.org lists a host of area organizations that are among those people can help.
But the Vermont Attorney General’s Office has also issued tips to help would-be givers avoid getting scammed.
“If you get a call, letter, or email pressuring you to donate, make sure you are asking questions about how your donation will be used,” Attorney General TJ Donovan said in a news release Monday.
When researching a charity, Donovan’s office suggests using websites such as CharityNavigator.org and the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance. Officials also say it’s important to check the mailing address and phone numbers of charities soliciting donations — even if they’re organizations you’ve given to before — and you can ask a charity that calls by phone to send the request by mail, so you can confirm the contact information.
In addition, Donovan’s office suggests inquiring about the involvement of any paid fundraiser — a third party not affiliated with the charity that will receive a cut of the donation, according to the news release. In Vermont, people can check into funds going to paid fundraisers at the charities section of the Vermont Attorney General’s Office’s website, and can also ask for this information through the Consumer Assistance Program at 800-649-2424.
Additional information is available at https://ago.vermont.gov/cap/.