How to Avoid Charity Fraud

Often after a natural disaster occurs there are calls for donations to charity to help the people affected by the calamity.  Many of these charities are legitimate organizations who do some good works and help those that are most vulnerable.  Think about the recent hurricanes that affected Houston, Florida and the Virgin Islands it left thousands of people homeless and without the basic necessities.  We are moved to contribute and help those that need it.  However it is times like these that also bring out the criminals who prey on your generosity and try and take advantage of the situation.  You want to make sure that your donation is going where you intend it to.  Here is how to avoid charity fraud.

Donate to a Reputable Charity

There are hundreds if not thousands of reputable charitable organizations both at home and abroad who help those that need it.  They are right there on the ground when disaster strikes and they bring food, medicine and shelter to those that are without them.  If you prefer to donate your money to your local community then find the nearest battered women’s shelter or soup kitchen to donate.  They are always in need and they help neighbors in your community.

Ask for Identification

While most charities don’t go knocking door to door anymore there are still some that do.  Before you go and grab your wallet to try and do a good thing, make sure that you take a close look at the identification of those coming to collect.  You should have no problem getting to see the identification of both the charity and the person collecting.  If they don’t want to give it to you then perhaps you should hang on to your money and give to another charity.


Always ask if the charitable donation is tax deductible and whether or not you can get a receipt.  Not being able to write off the donation or get a receipt is huge red flag and you should stay away.  Always make sure that you are not getting a flimsy excuse for why you can’t get a receipt.

Payment Methods

If the charity in questions only takes cash donations then run away.  Any reputable charity can get a bank account allowing them to accept checks or credit card donations.  Only taking cash is a pretty good sign they plan to take your money and run.

Donating to Your Local Charity, it's About More than Money

Donating to Your Local Charity, it’s About More than Money

Charity has been practiced since the beginning of time, and with such high inflation rates, as well as increasing financial burdens, people, as well as entire families are sometimes forced to turn to the streets, as they are unable to pay for utilities and food due to the intense employment competition.  With more people not being able to pay for a proper education and so uneducated people suffer because they too, were just not lucky enough to be able to afford to study.

Charity: its role in Religion

Charity does not necessarily mean the use of money. Charity comes in all forms. Charity, in its definition, is to voluntarily help someone in need without any expectation of any gains, rewards or appreciation. Some religions strongly incorporate charity into their practices, the religions, and their charitable practices are discussed below:

Islam: Islam incorporates charity into its practices, such that it was made one of the pillars of Islam, which are the five basic principles on which the religion is based. Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam. It has been made compulsory, in the case that individuals earning fits the criteria to be eligible to give Zakat, a percentage of a Muslim’s earnings to people who need it.

However, for those who cannot give Zakat, they can perform charity by giving Sadaqah. There is no minimum or maximum limit for Sadaqah. In Islam, even smiling at someone is considered Sadaqah.

Christianity: in the 12th and 13th century, patrons founded multiple hospitals for the ill, who could not afford medical care for themselves.

Hinduism: Hinduism charity is defined as giving up one’s property to someone else in need.

Charity is about more than money

As you can see now, many religions practice charity without the involvement of money or cash. Sometimes, the best thing you can do to help alleviate how someone is feeling and to make their day better is just be offering a shoulder to cry on, an open ear, a gentle heart, and lastly, a simple smile, that costs absolutely nothing. In religions such as Judaism, giving someone something as simple as your time is considered charity.

However, nowadays, some organizations prove to be ‘non-profit’ but you really do not know if the proceedings of the non-profit organization are really going to the community that needs help or being used for other purposes.  The best thing to do is perform charity by yourselves, whether it’s an on-going funding for a family in need or a one-time thing.