YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – For many people, the past few days have been all about hitting the stores for the best possible sales.
There’s Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and finally, Cyber Monday.
Tuesday, however, is all about giving back.
Giving Tuesday is part of a global movement that gets people, businesses and organizations to come together and encourage generosity.
One group that benefits greatly from contributions on Giving Tuesday is the United Way.
The United Way of Mahoning County’s Success After 6 program helps kids in the area further their education, all while having fun and helping them prepare for the future.
There are several ways to get involved locally on Tuesday.
United Way of Trumbull County is hosting a dine out event in which several restaurants will donate a certain percent of your bill to United Way to help provide turkeys for local families.
Catholic Charities and the Diocese of Youngstown is hosting Sip & Shop Pop-Up Boutique. During the event, you can create your own hot beverage and shop from local artisans and vendors, with proceeds helping families in need.
Plus, several mentorship programs for local students are funded by United Way, thanks to your Giving Tuesday donations.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine offered the following tips when making charitable donations to avoid scams:
- Develop a giving plan. Determine which charities you want to support. Respond to unexpected or unwanted requests by explaining that you already have a giving plan. Invite other groups to provide you with written information so you can evaluate their requests.
- Research charities. Find out if an organization is registered with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, verify its tax-exempt status with the IRS’s Exempt Organizations Select Check, and gather data from organizations such as the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Watch and Charity Navigator. View the organization’s IRS Form 990 on Guidestar. Review program descriptions, expenses, compensation levels, and other details. Conduct a basic internet search to review a group’s accomplishments or questionable activity.
- Ask how your donation will be used. Keep in mind that some charitable giving requests come from professional solicitors who are paid to collect donations. Solicitors should identify themselves, and if you ask, tell you what percentage of your donation will go to the charity. Also contact charities directly to find out how they use donations. Get information in writing. Compare a charity’s materials with information you gather from other sources.
- Watch for red flags. Be wary of high-pressure tactics, requests for checks made out to an individual (instead of a charity), and people who are unable or unwilling to answer questions about their organization. Don’t provide your credit card number or other personal information to callers who contact you unexpectedly.