Wed., November 21, 2012 8:18am (EST)

Be Careful When Holiday Giving
By Associated Press
Updated: 2 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp is warning Georgia residents to be cautious as they consider holiday and end-of-year donations to charitable organizations. He said to be wary of telephone solicitations and be sure organizations qualify for tax-deductible gifts if the tax break is important to you. (Photo Courtesy of Marius Muresan via stock.xchng.)
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp is warning Georgia residents to be cautious as they consider holiday and end-of-year donations to charitable organizations. He said to be wary of telephone solicitations and be sure organizations qualify for tax-deductible gifts if the tax break is important to you. (Photo Courtesy of Marius Muresan via stock.xchng.)
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp is warning Georgia residents to be cautious as they consider holiday and end-of-year donations to charitable organizations.

Kemp, whose office regulates charities, says that groups sometimes pose as charities to commit fraud. Other groups, he notes, are legitimate but spend lavishly on salaries and operations, rather than on core charitable functions.

Donors should absolute avoid responding to telephone solicitations and never give credit card or other personal or financial information over the phone. Kemp advises asking telephone solicitors to send requests in writing.

He also advises that anyone who is interested in a tax deduction for a contribution should clearly understand whether an organization qualifies. Not all non-profit organizations or even tax-exempt organizations can allow their donors to write off contributions.