Today is Cyber Monday and tomorrow is Giving Tuesday.
In other words, today we’re taking advantage of online sales, and tomorrow we’re using the web to support important causes.
Computers and mobile phones make all of this so easy-and, for the most part, that is a good thing.
First, though, are you asking important questions (and getting satisfactory answers) before parting with your money?
Can you be sure your money is going where you want it to go? Don’t be afraid to ask questions. This is especially important with giving – and doubly important when you’re using a so-called “donor platform”. These fundraising platforms are hosted by a third party, collect money from you, and then disburse the money to the selected charity. Popular fundraising platforms include AmazonSmile, Charity Navigator, GoFundMe, Facebook, GuideStar (Candid) and PayPal. While some platforms may operate with a charitable partner, others are for-profit companies that encourage charitable giving as part of their business model.
Are you certain you’re on a legitimate site? Watch out for fake websites and deals that seem “too good to be true.” Only shop on sites with a secure connection; look for “https” in the URL bar at the top of your browser.
Have you thought about your privacy? Use your privacy settings, or, better yet — make a good old-fashioned phone call if you are not comfortable using the computer to part with your money.
When giving to a charity, refer to our Wise Giving Guide. Also, check our database to see if the charity is on our list of charities registered to do business in Oregon, and see how much of annual donations to that charity actually go to “program services.”
Keep in mind: IT’S YOUR MONEY! YOU WANT TO BE CAREFUL WITH IT.
If you have any questions or concerns about a purchase you made and you are not satisfied by the seller’s response, contact the Oregon Department of Justice online at www.oregonconsumer.gov or call 1-877-877-9392.
Similarly, if you have questions or concerns about a charity, please visit the Oregon Department of Justice at https://justice.oregon.gov/charities.