Non-Profit Scam Safety Tips

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1) Research on links before you click. 
2) Look up the relief effort through a site such as Placer Community Foundation, BBB Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator or CharityWatch and read online reviews. Then, enter the URL of the charity yourself to independently confirm you are coordinating with the right organization.
3) Fall back on organizations with a proven track record and a clearly established mission. If it’s a personal plea for funds through a site like GoFundMe, stick with making donations to people or groups you know and can vouch for.
4) Always pay by credit card, which offers additional layers of protection, rather than a debit card, which taps money straight from your checking account, and never donate in the form of gift cards or wire transfers.
5) Check your accounts regularly for any suspicious activity or unauthorized charges. Even verified organizations may prompt you to increase the amount or frequency of your donation without you realizing it which goes against best practices. 
6) Examine the charity's financial health -- executive pay, fundraising costs, funding sources, program expenses etc. 
7) Find out if the charity has a donor privacy policy.
8) Transparency -- can you readily find information about the charity's staff and board of directors? 
9) Results -- look into the charities results. Charity Navigator created a list of questions to help. 
10) If our office or the county is contracting with the non-profit -- they have been properly vetted!