AG urges planned charitable giving as Giving Tuesday approaches

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FILE(WVVA)
Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 12:10 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Attorney General has urged Kansans to plan their charitable giving as Giving Tuesday approaches.

As many Kansans generously support worthy causes throughout the year, Attorney General Derek Schmidt says the holidays in particular are a time to remember those causes. He said Giving Tuesday was established in 2012 as a day to help charitable organizations raise funds as a part of the holiday season and is celebrated the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. In 2022, that date will be Nov. 29.

As Kansans observe Giving Tuesday or make charitable donations this holiday season, AG Schmidt said they should ensure they give to reputable organizations. The best thing to do to protect against falling victim to a charity scam, he said, is to start the holiday out with a giving plan.

Schmidt suggested that Kansans make a budget as well as a list of which charities they wish to support. He said reputable charities will always be happy to accept donations a few days or even a few weeks after they first make contact, so residents have time to do their research.

The AG gave the following tips to help Kansans give more safely:

  • Support local and established charities. While there are many large and international organizations that do great work, Schmidt said donations can often have a greater impact when they support a cause close to home where residents can see the result of their donations.
  • Watch out for names that sound alike. The AG indicated that scammers often make their organizations’ names sound very similar to other well-known charities.
  • Be careful with telemarketers who request contributions. Often, Schmidt said the telemarketer keeps a substantial portion of the donation. If any questions arise about the solicitation, residents should contact the charity directly.
  • Ask questions to find out where donations go. Schmidt noted that residents should ask for written information, including how much of the money raised is actually used for charitable purposes and how much will end up in the hands of the professional fundraiser.
  • Ask of donations are tax deductible. The AG said not all donations to charities are tax deductible. When in doubt, he said to double-check with a tax preparer before the donation is assumed tax-deductible.
  • Document donations.

According to Schmidt, the safest way to avoid charity fraud is to take control of their own charitable giving. Rather than responding to solicitations for money that come via telephone, in the mail, by email or otherwise, Kansans who wish to support charitable causes should develop their own giving plan to give straight to the charities of their choice.