TN SoS issues ‘Wise Giving Tip’

In recognition of International Charity Fraud Awareness Week, Secretary of State Tre Hargett reminds Tennesseans of resources available from his office to help people avoid scams.

“The Volunteer State is filled with people who want to support each other and the causes we believe in through charitable giving,” said Secretary Hargett. “Unfortunately, there are people out there that will take advantage of that spirit of giving. It’s important to make sure an organization is legitimate before making a donation and we have resources that can help.”

To help you avoid charity fraud and maximize your donation’s impact, the Secretary of State’s Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming created a Wise Giving Tips video available on our website, www.sos.tn.gov/charitable.

The Wise Giving Tips are:

  • If a nonprofit asks you for a contribution, make sure it is legitimate by checking to see if it’s registered with the state at www.sos.tn.gov/charitable or by calling 615-741-2555.
  • Take your time. Resist pressure to give on the spot.
  • Ask questions. If an organization has a specific mission, ask how and who will benefit from your donation.
  • If you are asked for a donation via text or email, verify the request is directly from the charity or nonprofit.
  • Do your research and don’t assume a social media or blog recommendation has been approved by the nonprofit.
  • If you give through an app or website, ask if it is going directly to the organization.
  • Avoid giving cash. Always ask for a receipt and if your contribution is tax deductible.
  • Pay close attention to the name of the nonprofit organization, as there are many with similar names.
  • Don’t forget there are many ways to give, such as volunteering your time.
  • If a paid fundraiser asks you for a donation, ask how much is kept by the fundraiser and how much goes to the nonprofit.

Any charity that raises over $50,000 a year must register with the State of Tennessee. To see if a charity is registered, visit www.sos.tn.gov/charitable or call 615-741-2555.

Please report any false, misleading or deceptive fundraising activity to the Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming at 615-741-2555.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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