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Posted on: November 23, 2020

Make Safe Donations to Help Your Community This Holiday Season

Person holding coins with message on paper: Make a Change

During the Maricopa County Combined Charitable Campaign, MCAO employees joined other county departments and helped raise $188,517 to support 67 charitable organizations throughout the valley. The Combined Charitable Campaign supports organizations that help youth, provide resources to those transitioning from jail back to communities, help reduce homelessness and hunger, and support veterans' needs. For Maricopa County employees, giving back to those in need comes as naturally as their daily work. Supporting charities that help the county is an extension of their work and multiplies their efforts to support communities.

Like Maricopa County employees, this holiday season, you might be planning to support those in need by donating or volunteering with a local organization. However, to make your donation count, it's essential to do research and pay attention to avoid a scam. Here are some tips and questions to ask before you share any personal or financial information.

  • Verify that the organization is legitimate by checking the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance. Take note of any complaints or negative reviews.
  • Research the organization and find out exactly how much of your donation goes directly to the services or resources you want to help. Fundraising and operational costs can leave behind little to support programs. Ask about what options are available, ensuring your donation does the most good.
  • Don't let a caller or fundraising campaign pressure you into donating. Take your time to learn more. Not all calls asking for donations come from charities. Find out by reviewing the IRS's Tax Exempt Organization list.
  • Be wary of crowdfunding campaigns promoted through social media that make it difficult to know where the money is going. Limit these donations to people or groups you know and trust personally.
  • Always pay with a credit card or check and ask for a receipt. Paying with cash, a wire transfer, or gift card leaves you vulnerable to losing your money to a scam.

At a time when there are so many in need, donating can make a significant difference in someone's life, but doing so shouldn't put your personal information or finances at risk. Share these tips with your family and friends and encourage them to support their communities this holiday season.

To find local organizations and places to volunteer in Maricopa County visit: GiveSmartAZ.org or HandsOnPhoenix.org

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