Amongst others, be sure to consider the following precautions to ensure that your donation dollars benefit the people and organizations you want to help. They're good practices whether you're contacted by an organization's employees, volunteers or professional fund-raisers, soliciting donations by phone, mail or in person.

  • Ask for written information about the charity, including name, address and telephone number. A legitimate charity or fund-raiser will give you information about the charity's mission, how your donation will be used and proof that your contribution is tax deductible.

  • Check out the charity's financial information. For many organizations, this information can be found online at or at GuideStar, 427 Scotland Street, Williamsburg, VA 23185; 757-229-4631.

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