Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Be careful with donations to help Japan

Posted By on March 16, 2011, 3:07 PM

New technology makes charitable donations as simple as the click of a button, or the tap of an app, but Utahns should check first before donating.---

When disasters strike anywhere in the world Utahns will rush to give of themselves to help those in need—and sadly charlatans and shysters will also be ready to fleece good-hearted people out of their charitable donations. That’s why the Utah Department of Consumer Protections is reminding Utahns to check charities out first and cut checks second.

“We ask consumers to make sure charities are registered with the state to be sure your generous efforts truly help those in need” said Francine A. Giani, Executive Director of the Utah Department of Commerce, in a recent press release. Consumer Protection is asking  Utahns to trust recognizable charities with track records of successful donations, when it comes to donating to relief efforts for victims of natural disasters like the earthquake and tsunami that have recently devastated Japan.

You may want to help through a charity that purports to be dedicated solely to this disaster but its wiser to utilize longstanding charitable organizations. Plus a charity that sprung up overnight to help with a particular disaster could just easily disappear overnight.

Utahns are encouraged to check with the Utah Department of Consumer Protections to see if a charity has registered to fund raise in Utah at 801-530-6601. They also recommend some helpful sites for checking charities out also worth a click such as Guidestar, the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, the American Institute of Philanthropy and the Federal Trade Commission's educational materials.

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