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Be on lookout for scams, ways to maximize donations on Giving Tuesday

'Tis the season for smart giving

SAN ANTONIO – Volunteers were on serious diaper duty Tuesday morning, hauling Huggies and Pampers by the truckload.

They were inside the warehouse of the Texas Diaper Bank, one of thousands of charities gladly accepting donations on what’s known as Giving Tuesday.

“Diaper scarcity is a problem in San Antonio that not a lot of people think about,” said Ashley Hernandez who works with the nonprofit.

The Texas Diaper Bank helps low-income families meet a basic need by providing diapers for babies and adults, and it runs on the kindness of donors.

Whether giving diapers or dollars to any organization, it pays to do a little homework to avoid being scammed and to maximize your donations.

The Federal Trade Commission, BBB Wise Giving Alliance and other consumer advocates offer advice:

Give directly – Contact the organization yourself. Do not click on links in emails. Do not give credit card information to callers. Instead, look up websites and phone numbers independently.
Beware – Scammers sometimes use names that sound like the names of well-known, legitimate nonprofits.  Do not respond to requests for donations through Western Union or gift cards.
Crowdfunding – It is convenient. But experts advise giving to people you know. Also, consider that many sites keep a portion of the donation for administrative costs and fees.
Check for matches – Employers, in particular, may match your donation.
Check up on charities – Watchdogs, such as www.charitynavigator.org, www.guidestar.org and www.give.org can show you how much of each dollar goes toward a charity’s mission and how much goes toward administrative costs.

A good way to find out about a local charity is to visit and see exactly what they do, and ask questions. 


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