Skip to main content

How to Stay Safe from Charity Fraud

By Lisa Lujan, Online Giving Coordinator, Community First Foundation

A few months back I came across an article called "Don’t Get Scrooged," by Mitch Morrissey, Denver District Attorney of the Second Judicial District. Given the fraudulent nature of the age we live in, I’d like to share some of the DA office’s important safety tips.

The first part of the article says that "donors should be wary about giving without doing a little research to ensure the charity is legitimate.”

It continues by saying to "avoid any charity or fundraiser that..." 
  • Won’t provide proof that a contribution is tax deductible
  • Thanks you for a previous pledge that you can’t remember giving to in the past
  • Uses high-pressure tactics
  • Asks for donations in cash
  • Offers to send a courier to collect the donation or asks for you to wire money
  • Refuses to provide written information about itself
  • Appeals to your heart strings, especially patriotism and current events.”
What’s great about using ColoradoGives.org, our online giving website,  is that you can know the following for certain:
  • Every nonprofit on the site is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization that must be registered and in good standing with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office
  • All donations through ColoradoGives.org must be made using a credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express) or the information from a bank account (personal checking, business checking, or savings). You needn’t create an account to make a one-time donation, and all payment information is stored with the secure third-party e-commerce payment service providers we use, not on our site.
  • All information about us (Community First Foundation--the nonprofit that operates the site ColoradoGives.org) can be found on our website.
  • All the information about the nonprofits featured on our site can be found on the nonprofits’ profiles. Have more questions than what is provided? Feel free to contact the nonprofits directly using the contact information that can also be found on their profiles.
Additional tips from the Denver DA article include creating a Charity Checklist that includes:
  • Asking for the name of the charity if the telemarketer does not provide it promptly.
  • Calling the charity directly to find out whether it’s aware of the solicitation and has authorized use of its name.
  • If they claim the charity supports local organizations, call the local groups to verify.
When you use ColoradoGives.org you can rest assured that:
  • The charities on the sites have provided us with their legal names and the supporting documentation.
  • If you have any concerns about a solicitation you’ve received you can easily find the contact information of all our nonprofits on their individual profiles.
  • Even if they don’t serve the Colorado area, all the nonprofits on ColoradoGives.org must either be headquartered or providing services with a physical office in Colorado.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Meeting Space Celebrity Sighting: Natalie Portman

Valerie Brown, Meeting Space Administrator
I met Natalie Portman in the Community First Foundation Meeting Space yesterday.
Okay, not the Natalie Portman of Star Wars, V for Vendetta and Black Swan. This Natalie Portman is a top-notch meeting facilitator who was working with a group advancing Mental Health First Aid in Jefferson County. Led by Jefferson Center for Mental Health, the group met in our largest meeting room to discuss training community members on how to identify persons who may benefit from mental health resources.
Jefferson Center for Mental Health is one of the dizzying array of nonprofits to have come through our doors since we opened the Meeting Space a year ago! February 2016 saw one meeting lasting four hours with six people. February 2017 saw 37 meetings for a total of 250 hours with 799 people through the door! In fact, in the first year we have hosted 269 meetings lasting a total of 1,822 hours and have seen 5,615 people through the door.
These people do the goo…

Making Your List and Checking It Twice: How to Read Nonprofit Profiles for Colorado Gives Day in Five Easy Steps

By Dana Rinderknecht, Director of Online Giving at Community First Foundation
Colorado Gives Day is coming! Once again it is time to make your list and, like Santa, check it twice!
As you craft your list, the wonderful thing about ColoradoGives.org, the online giving platform for Colorado Gives Day, is that you can learn more about the nonprofits you already support as well as others you didn’t realize were out there doing good work. This year we have more than 2,000 nonprofits from all over the state of Colorado participating.
You might ask yourself, “What can I learn about these nonprofits?” and, “Where do I start?”
Go to ColoradoGives.org and search. You can search by name, cause, or location. For instance, if you want to find out which nonprofits are working in your neighborhood, type in your zip code and press “Go.”When you see one you like, click “Learn More” on the widget to view the profile. The first tab is an overview of the program, starting with pictures and videos. It gives…

The Real People Behind the Scenes

Meet the Online Giving Team
Ever wonder what’s happening behind the scenes on Colorado Gives Day? Answering questions, processing donations and communicating progress is an all-hands-on-deck affair at Community First Foundation, but there are three staff members who really keep the ColoradoGives.org wheels turning, today and every day. Meet the online giving team!
Meet Dana Rinderknecht, director of online giving Q. What’s your role on the team? A. I raise awareness of the program and keep it moving forward with exciting new ideas like KidsforColoradoGives.org.
Q. What’s the coolest thing about ColoradoGives.org most people don’t know? A. That you can set up ongoing, regular donations to your favorite nonprofit to support them year-round. This gives them funds they can rely on and helps you spread out your cost.
Q. What are your personal charitable passions? A. For me, it’s about making the world a better place.
Q. What are you most looking forward to doing the day after ColoradoGives Day – …