Give Wisely: What to Know About Your Holiday Charitable Giving

AARP Fraud Watch Network warns consumers of possible fundraiser scams

Holiday Scams

During the holiday season, consumers are often barraged with requests from local and national charities and fundraisers. In 2014, Americans gave $358 billion dollars to charity, a record high. We all feel more generous this time of year, and while donating to a good cause is a kind, philanthropic gesture to share the holiday spirit, it is important to know where the charitable proceeds are going to end up.

In a recent Fraud Watch Network consumer survey, AARP quizzed American shoppers to test their knowledge on the most common holiday scams. When it came to charitable giving, the results found that 78 percent of those surveyed have been solicited to donate to a charity or fundraiser in the past 12 months, and 70 percent of those who donated did so without inquiring how the proceeds would be spent.

Simple ways to save a buck, expert investment advice, scam alerts and much more! — AARP Money Newsletter »

It is imperative to know where donations are going, as there are some fundraisers, especially telemarketers, who pocket 85-90 percent of their proceeds for themselves. In the survey, only about half of consumers knew that professional fundraisers are allowed to keep a majority of the money raised as long as they are honest about the amount they keep.

Additionally, 60 percent of consumers didn’t verify if the charity groups were legally authorized to raise money in their state. Professional fundraisers are required to complete government registration and to also report their charitable profits – nearly a third of consumers didn’t know that this is mandatory.

Doing a little background research on the charity or fundraiser you choose to give to could help provide the facts you need to know beforehand. Donors shouldn’t fret, but should remember to always ask and check before giving.

See more tips on holiday giving from AARP’s Fraud Watch Network here:

Also of Interest

See the  AARP home page for deals, savings tips, trivia and more.

Search AARP Blogs

Related Posts
May 13, 2019 12:08 PM
AARP is commemorating its 60th anniversary with the construction of outdoor fitness parks in local communities in every state, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In collaboration with the national nonprofit, FitLot, AARP Tampa worked with the local Parks and Recreation department to open the first outdoor fitness park in St. Petersburg, Florida on April 24, 2019. AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins, Mayor Rick Kriseman, and FitLot Co-Founder and Executive Director Adam Mejerson were on hand to welcome community members to the new park and try out the exercise equipment.
May 10, 2019 09:15 AM
As the U.S. population ages, more workers are taking on responsibilities for caring for family members with illnesses or disabilities. These duties can have a substantial economic impact on employees and pose challenges for companies to find ways to make the workplace more “caregiver-friendly.” This is especially true for small businesses who often don’t have the capacity or financial resources to establish formal caregiving procedures.
March 26, 2019 01:51 PM
Technology holds great promise in addressing the needs of older adults as they focus on remaining healthy, active, socially connected and independent. To understand their behavior around adopting tech products, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and the CTA Foundation surveyed older adults and caregivers and found a deep interest among the group to embrace tech that promises greater convenience, safety and health.