Posted on May 22, 2013
Some charities focus on temporary shelter and some concentrate on providing food and water; others specialize in simply raising money for other charities. The Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office is now warning of renewed charity scams following the tornado so before giving money to help with the recent tornado disaster relief, it would be wise to verify the type of help the charity is providing to ensure the charity is legitimate.
The same increase in fraudulent charities happened within days of the Boston marathon bombings. More than 100 new websites were registered as charities and many were scams. After the grade school shootings in Newton, Connecticut, someone even set up a fake “Funeral Fund” page on Facebook.
To locate a trusted charity, an individual could use an independent charity evaluator such as “Charity Navigator” as a starting point to learn how a particular charity’s donations are spent. Charity Navigator shows how much of a donation is applied to the charity program as well as the amount applied to administration and marketing. The Charity Navigator website currently lists more than a dozen trusted charities taking donations for Oklahoma tornado relief, including the American Red Cross.
Keep in mind that donations to certain national charities such as the Red Cross are directed to overall disaster relief wherever assistance is most needed unless a particular disaster is specified. The Red Cross states if donations received have exceeded the amount needed for a specific disaster, the additional donations received and designated for that disaster may be used for other relief efforts. One method of donating to the Red Cross to ensure the donation stays local is to donate to a specific Red Cross Chapter; local donations such as these will be applied in that locale.