Be Careful with Your Donations

A request to purchase ad space in a publication to support a charitable cause is something you might receive, especially if you are in business. While making a contribution to a public safety group or a law enforcement agency is a very noble thing to do, you must view this with a business approach just like you would on any other deal. This is not to say that you should see this as a profit making venture of any sort, but that you should avoid getting fleeced or conned by a fraudulent party.

Just because a request contains the words “police”, “firefighter”, “orphans”, etc. it does not mean that they are all genuine outfits. Call the number that they provide and ask questions. In addition to this, you should also inquire from other related parties. For example, if the charity in question claims to support disabled police officers, then you should check with the local police authorities as to whether the charity is indeed genuine. If the charity in question offers you “special” benefits in return for your donation, like being let off the hook for speeding or running a red light, then something is not right.

More and more states are requiring that charities be registered or licensed under them. This gives you an even better chance of checking a charity’s legitimacy. All you have to do is check with the Attorney General’s office or the Secretary of State and they will be able to answer any question you have about a charity. One more thing to keep in mind is that some donations are not considered tax deductible as the recipient organization may be tax exempt.