Tips to Giving Wisely

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During this time of holiday cheer, the Utah Department of Commerce is offering several tips to help safeguard your charitable donations.  Executive Director of the Department of Commerce Francine A. Giani says, “Utahns are known for their generosity to others, especially when it comes to charitable acts of kindness.  While most charities and non-profits have true intentions, unfortunately there are those who would tug on your heart strings to open your purse strings for their own profits instead.”

How to Keep Your Donations Safe from Scams

  1. Be wary of solicitations which appeal to your emotions but offer little or no information about the actual charity.  Don’t be swayed by someone’s sad story until you have all the facts.
  2. Some charities use similar names of well-known organizations.  You might think that you are contributing to a nationally recognized group, when in reality, you are contributing to a fake.
  3. Some groups may ply you with free gifts or other offers as part of the solicitation.  Don’t feel that you must donate in return for an unsolicited gift.
  4. Do not give in to hard selling techniques for instance if a caller pressures you to contribute on the spot, or offers to send someone to your home to pick up your check.  A reputable charity will gladly accept your contribution today, tomorrow, or a month from now.

The Division of Consumer Protection also suggests that you choose your charities with care.  Even if you select a well-known charity, take the time to learn where your money is going and what it is used for.  Choose organizations whose interest and concerns are similar to your own and evaluate the organization’s goals and programs.  Officials also say to not be afraid to ask questions. 

For more safety and precaution tips, log on to
or call 1-800-721-SAFE.