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Secrets Of Bad Children's Charities

Feb 13, 2008
Giving to children's charities can be very rewarding, especially when one envisions the smiling faces on the children that are receiving the help. Sadly, there are many charitable organizations that take advantage of the good nature of people and are fraudulent in nature, stealing money from the most vulnerable and using it for selfish, illegal purposes. Spotting these bad children's charities can be tough, but there are ways to interpret the true motives of a charity and discern the motivations behind the organization.

Ask Questions

One of the first things that can be done to spot a bogus charity is to ask a lot of the right questions. Ask questions such as:

* What percentage of the contribution is allocated for administration costs?

* How will the money or contribution be spent?

* Is the solicitor paid on a commission for gathering successful contributions?

These questions can serve to enlighten the situation slightly. Ask the solicitor, especially if the interaction is over the telephone, for contact information immediately and check the organization's name with the Better Business Bureau and with the local taxation office. All charities that operate legally must be registered with the government for tax purposes. Ask to see documentation of registration from the charity.

Learn More

One of the key components to spotting a fraudulent charity is to learn as much as possible about the charitable organization. There are various charity watchdog groups available on the internet and through the telephone book that can shed light on charitable organizations. There are, sadly, countless examples of charities that are less than reputable with their donations. There are a few common instances that charities are guilty of that can be revealed with a simple search.

Charities like this are especially vile because they exploit the human desire to help the less fortunate in society, especially children. Taking advantage of people's kindness should be unthinkable, but sadly each year bears witness to new instances of charitable organizations taking advantage of honest people. Fundraisers know that a sympathetic ear will react to stories of horror in children and other less fortunate people, so they are prepared to exploit that for personal gain.

A large component of the problem is the allocation of funds overall. Several children's charities spend a large chunk of their overall donations, sometimes as much as 90%, on fundraising costs or administration charges to write off the donation and provide it for personal gain. A large share of these funds often goes to for-profit telemarketing firms that pay employees by a commission rate for their services in terms of gathering donations that were allegedly for children.

Children's charities should be investigated for program spending, as many bogus charities will have low program spending and are legally required to report it. They are also characteristically guilty of working with for-profit organizations to achieve publicity and may have names that appear to sound similar. Spotting these charities can be difficult, but with a little investigation and some diligence, spotting the bogus charities is possible.

A final piece of advice is to consider donating goods and services instead of cash to charities. Charities that collect items, such as dollhouses or food items, are less likely to be fraudulent.
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