Know your charity...
Ask charities that request contributions for written information that tells you:
  • The exact name of the organization (some sound-alike groups can be confusing)

  • The organization's purpose (finding a cure for a disease, or caring for people who suffer from the disease, for example)

  • How the group attempts to achieve its goals (its own research, making grants, etc.)

  • How much of your dollar is used for true charitable purposes (NCIB Standards call for a minimum of 60 cents out of each dollar spent)

Some things to be aware of...

  • High pressure calls and mail solicitations that emphasize emotional content but contain little or no substance

  • Charities that won't send written material until you donate, or because there "isn't time" or it's "too costly"

  • Phone calls and letters telling you that you have won money or a valuable prize from a charity

  • Callers who want to send someone over to pick up your contribution. Insist on using the U.S. Mail.

Some very important don'ts...

  • Don't give cash! Write a check made payable only to the full name of the charity.

  • Don't pay attention to dunning letters and don't respond to letters that say you have pledged money unless you are 100% certain that you did.

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