Even though in my post yesterday I am hopefully encouraging more people to donate to charitable causes, I also think it is important to do some research before donating.
Does the organization have a track record of responsibly using their funds?
What percentage of donations go to administrative work versus the actual cause?
If donating to an individual, do you know them or at least know someone who knows them (so that you can back up their story)?
If donating on a crowdsourcing site, how much of that money goes to funding the website versus the campaign?
Rather than giving blindly, it is important to do our research.
There was recently a woman featured on a local news channel as being duped in a Craigslist scam. She allegedly put down a deposit on a rental with people who did not own the home. Now, she claimed she had no deposit money and nowhere to turn when her current lease is up.
When you begin to read the comment section on Facebook, however, you find a few people claiming that this woman has laundered money, cheated with a boyfriend, and lied to many other people. It is actually quite shocking to read through.
Thanks to the internet, it is easier than ever to scam people. But also thanks to the internet, people can stand up to scammers and warn other people.
If you want your money to actually go toward a worthy cause, do a little bit of research before you donate.