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'Giving Tuesday': Making sure your donation isn't a scam

December 3 marks 'Giving Tuesday' around the globe. The social media movement focuses on giving to charities in your community.

TYLER, Texas — Tuesday, December 3 is "Giving Tuesday" in the United States and around the world. The Better Business Bureau is recommending people to do some research before clicking on a link to donate to a particular organization. 

According to GivingTuesday, it all started in 2012 with the idea of encouraging people to do good. It comes during a time when many people are focused on holiday shopping with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

After making a donation, people often take to social media and share the hashtag GivingTuesday. 

BBB WGA shares five tips to help donors give wisely and make the most of their generosity this holiday season: 

1. Watch out for name similarities. When charities seek support for the same cause, their names are often similar. Before you give, be sure you have the exact name of the charity to avoid a case of mistaken identity.

2. Avoid on-the-spot donation decisions from unfamiliar organizations. The holidays bring a higher frequency of donation requests outside public locations. Don’t succumb to pressure to make an immediate giving decision. Responsible organizations will welcome your gift tomorrow as much as they do today.

3. Be wary of emotional appeals. Marketers have been known to exploit the holidays to make emotional pleas to donors. Always research to verify that your selected charity operates ethically.

4. Avoid charities that don’t disclose. Although participation is voluntary, charities that don’t disclose any of the requested information to BBB WGA raise a critical red flag for donors. Visit Give.org to find out if your selected charity is nondisclosure.

5. Rely on standards-based evaluations. Charities can demonstrate they are trustworthy by agreeing to in-depth evaluations such as the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability. Get free access to charity reports at Give.org.

Where to donate in East Texas:

In East Texas there are more than 70 organizations participating in Giving Tuesday. 

The East Texas Alzheimer's Alliance, Trinity School of Texas and other locations are participating in Longview.

Locations in Tyler include the East Texas Food Bank, Bethesda Health Clinic, Fit Steps for Life, the Mentoring Alliance and more. 

How to donate:

  • To donate to the East Texas Food Bank click here.
  • To donate to Bethesda Health Clinic click here
  • To donate to Fit Steps for Life Tyler click here.

All locations can be found on GivingTuesday.org

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