Safe Charitable Giving - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Safe Charitable Giving

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With the holidays around the corner, we've officially entered the season of giving, and not just presents we buy for friends and loved ones. This time of year we're also asked to donate to a variety of charities. Surprisingly, the Better Business Bureau, the BBB, says two out of three people donating don't really know who they're giving to.

To be sure of where your money is going, the Better Business Bureau of Northern Nevada has some guidelines:

Research is the rule.

Tim Johnston, President/CEO of BBB says, "When we make purchases, whether it's big items like a car, or refrigerator, even something small. We do the research. I mean, it's real easy to do that nowadays."

The BBB made it even easier for us with a website called  All you do is enter the charity's name, and you will immediately see if the group is accredited. Click to view the full report and you will see what programs the charity runs and how much of the budget is dedicated to what

"So you can see where the money is going and where it is being spent, so you can make an informed decision," says Johnston.

Also, don't give in to emotions or pressure from someone stationed outside of a store asking for donations.

"GET THE INFORMATION,” says Johnston, “A respectable, trusted organization will take your hard earned dollar, donation tomorrow just as well as today."

Next, avoid giving cash. Checks and credit cards offer some protection and a give you a receipt for tax purposes.

Finally, look carefully at the name of the charity, scam organizations use similar names to try to dupe donors. If you think the group is shady - report it.

"You wanna let others know that hey, this is what's going on in the community, so we encourage them to contact us about that" says Johnston.

You can do that at

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