How to Give Safely to Holiday Charities
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Tips and advice for personal finance from the Dolans. This video focus' on how to give safely to holiday charities and not by ripped off by the holiday scams.

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Ken Dolan: You know Daria, it’s the Holidays and often a lot of us I think more than any other time during the year, you’re thankful for stuff. Daria Dolan: Oh my goodness. Ken Dolan: You’re thankful for friends. Daria Dolan: Yeah. Ken Dolan: You’re thanking for family. Daria Dolan: Yap. Ken Dolan: Thankful for your heath. It’s the time to be. Daria Dolan: Thank you for the Turkey. Ken Dolan: Well yeah that’s right. Thanks for the gifts of the Holidays. I’ll tell you this though, we’re specially thankful because we have a wonderful happily, a healthy family and in our own little way here on Dolans.com and on radio and television, books, etcetera both living the last 22 years would made a little difference in your life and other surround you, the people that you love. And that you think of especially at the Holidays. Daria Dolan: But I know that there an awful lot of people all year round but even more so, I think you feel it more for them this of the year. Ken Dolan: Charities. Daria Dolan: If you’re living in a nice house with warmth and family around and friends and parties to go to etcetera. But there are a lot of people who aren’t that fortunate and that are where charities come in. Ken Dolan: Exactly. Daria Dolan: And there are a lot of charities that are mailing us now. This time of year in particular and hopes of capturing your dollars to help them help others. Ken Dolan: It is especially difficult time Daria because business is bad for a lot of corporations who are used to giving at the Holidays, a lot of the government, especially to the arts and the humanities and some other charity. I wouldn’t go on the charities but to other organizations the government giving is down too so it becomes all the more important during the course of this time of the year if not during the whole year is that we take a hard look at donating to charity so there it’s a car, stock, even a frequent flyer miles. They not talk to the adopter, by the way. Daria Dolan: I know. Ken Dolan: But there’s a right way and a wrong way. The point we’re trying to say is if your charity in your heart, we think it’s great but let’s get taken with scams. Daria Dolan: Because as much as the charities come up a lot this time of year so does the scammers because they know that people will be giving thanks for all their blessings are more likely to contribute whether it’s legitimate or not. So we have some tips for you. Ken Dolan: Yeah. Daria Dolan: We don’t want you to get scammed and give good money to bad organizations. Ken Dolan: Number one Daria, are you ready? Don’t get cash. Daria Dolan: No, ever, ever, ever. Ken Dolan: Don’t donate, no, no. We’re not saying don’t donate. Don’t donate cash because at number one it’s hard to track. So if you’re going to give a check to or if you’re going to donate the equivalent of cash to an organization, write a check out to the organization itself. No cash. Daria Dolan: That’s right. Now if it’s under a certain amount to the charity by tax law does not have to send your letter saying thank you for your donation of $5.00. But you should keep your records of all of it for itemizing of taxes, as if in fact you itemized. Ken Dolan: Exactly, right. Daria Dolan: Over a $500.00 limit then in fact you will have to receive something from the charity itself. Ken Dolan: If you want to claim it. Daria Dolan: And if you’re going to any charitable dinner dances this time of year, just remember that the charity most likely is going to send you a letter excluding the cost of the meal, band etcetera. So don’t think you can take if it cost you $500.00 for a ticket. Ken Dolan: The whole thing. Yeah. Daria Dolan: If you can take $500 to that ticket, some of it goes to the meal. Ken Dolan: Yeah. Don’t forget by the way, especially with these technological advances especially on the web and printing things. Don’t be fooled by similar name charities. It sounds like the American Red Cross so the American Muscular District instead of saying no. If you doubt that in fact it sounds like but it’s not exactly the same then call the charity that you’re thinking of donating. Do a call to that specific charity or go online to their website. Close is not close enough. Daria Dolan: Now and if you receive something in the mail that looks suspiciously like a bill. Ken Dolan: Or an invoice to the company. Daria Dolan: Or an invoice saying that you owe XYZ Charity $50.00. Do not send them one nickel. It is illegal for them to send invoices or items that look like bills trying to get you to donate. Ken Dolan: Exactly. Another thing too Daria, we’ve seen it many, many times and some very good charities too is they’ll send you some sort of value or something. Daria Dolan: A pen, a key ring. Ken Dolan: Something. Daria Dolan: My mother is the queen of receiving these in the mail. Ken Dolan: I know. Law says that you may keep anything that you do not order and it’s against the law for a charity, even legitimate charities to demand payment or request payment or build payment or invoice payment for something that you did not order. So don’t feel guilty. Donate if you wish but you don’t have to pay for something you did not order. Alright let’s check out our—. Daria Dolan: No, nope, before we do that. Ken Dolan: Oh, all right. Daria Dolan: I think the most important fact we can give everybody today. Ken Dolan: What? Daria Dolan: Is that tax exempts do not mean tax deductible. Ken Dolan: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Exactly right. Daria Dolan: You could be a tax exempt organization which means you do not have to pay taxes. Ken Dolan: Thorganization. Daria Dolan: But by the laws of the IRS, it does not mean that the person giving to a tax exempt organization can take a deduction for that donation. So to be sure that you can deduct what you give, go to the IRS.gov. Ken Dolan: Check them on. Daria Dolan: And check out their lists of charities that are truly tax deductible. Ken Dolan: Can I tell you something? Daria Dolan: Yes. Ken Dolan: I wish I thought of it. That was very good. Daria Dolan: That’s why I’m here. Ken Dolan: Why is it important when we’re talking about number one is support you don’t get taken that the charity dollars that you have go to the charity that you want and number two 80% of the money that charities get during the course of the year are from individuals like us. Daria Dolan: Right. Ken Dolan: The National Charity’s information bureau, NCIB.org Check the charity out through there, also. Daria Dolan: Or through a Better Business Bureau. I was going to say BBB but I should say Better Business Bureau. Ken Dolan: That’s all right. That’s okay, yeah. Daria Dolan: Alliance@give.org, very simple, give.org. Ken Dolan: Happy holiday.