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The Internet makes supporting your favorite charity a simple task. However, if you’re not careful, there’s a chance you can have your information stolen. With a bit of due diligence, you can ensure you can safely support your favourite charities online. Check out the following four safety tips for online charitable donations!

1. Research The Charity Beforehand

Donating on blind faith is a recipe for disaster. It’s important to get familiar with the charities you want to support before giving them any of your personal information or money. The bare minimum for an official charity website is to have a page with a clear mission statement, accomplishments and details about the board of directors.

Each charity website should have their charitable registration number clearly visible along with their contact information. Another factor to check is if the charity has an active physical office and phone line. Speaking with the charity on the phone is an excellent way to get more information and a better feel for the charity. Going the extra mile to find details about a charity will keep you safe when making donations.

2. As Much As Possible, Try And Give Directly

Even children’s charities have been accused of misallocation of funds among other misleading acts. Once you research and find a children’s charity you trust, it’s important to ensure your money is going to the right people. Sometimes you may be approached by a third party asking for donations on behalf of a charity. Ideally, you should bypass this third person and give to the charity directly.

Some people even go door to door canvassing money on behalf of charities they have no intention of supporting. This unscrupulous behavior is why you need to make your donations directly to the charities you support. Most charities allow you to write checks directly to the charity itself or make cash/debit/credit donations at their physical location. If you’re donating via PayPal, the charity’s payment info should appear as the charity itself, not an individual name or business not associated with the charity.

3. Read The Privacy Policy Before Making An Online Donation

A charity’s privacy policy can tell you a lot about how they do business. Privacy policies usually clue you in on what’s being done with your information after using their website. The privacy policy is essentially where the charity promises they won’t sell or use your information for any other reason other than to process your donation.

If your concerns aren’t answered in the privacy policy, you can call the charity and ask your question to a live person. Doing this type of research beforehand is an excellent way to keep yourself safe when making donations online.

4. Be Wary Of Email Solicitations Asking For Donations

You need to be especially careful with email solicitations from charities you’re not familiar with. Charities that you’re not involved with and that you have not authorized to contact you by email have no business asking you for donations. A lot of fake charities use email to prey on unsuspecting people and get donations. Chances are if you support a charity they’ll use emails to update you on information relevant to the charity but rarely do they solicit donations via email.

All in all, a little work goes a long way in protecting yourself online. Donating to children’s charities is an excellent way to give back and do your part for the world. Make sure you do your research so you don’t get burnt trying to do a good thing. Bookmark this blog post for reference when considering a new charity!

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