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Crowd Funding: Tips for Safe Donations

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Crowd funding has grown to be a popular forum for individuals, businesses, and nonprofit organizations to solicit donations nationwide. Crowd funding sites have become the go to destination for many people who want to help victims of recent tragic events and weather related disasters. The burning question is, “How do I know that my donation is helping actual victims in the impacted areas?” The answer: Since all the donations are handled online, it’s often hard to be certain of this.

While the larger crowd funding sites have implemented fraud protection measures for donors as well as beneficiaries, here are few questions and tips to consider before making your donation.

  • Are there restrictions on types of scope of projects to be funded?
  • Is the presentation of the appeal professional? Does it make sense?
  • Does the crowd funding site require beneficiaries to set a target funding goal?
  • Is there reasonable time limit on the funding campaign?
  • Is the campaign vetted before being listed on the site?
  • If the funding campaign is for a particular project, does the beneficiary offer to provide progress updates?
  • Check out charities that use crowd funding at before donating.
  • Give to people you know.
  • Make sure that you read and understand the terms of service on any crowd funding website, before donating. If something goes wrong, you will know what your options are with the site.
  • Remember that donations may not always be tax-deductible.

For more in-depth information on Crowd Funding, check out, CROWDFUNDING for Charitable Causes, BBB Wise Giving Guide and Crowdfunding for Charitable Causes: Advice from BBB Wise Giving Alliance

To report a scam, go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, go to

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