Safety First: Avoiding Giving to Fraudulent Charities

June 5, 2015

By JoAnn Turnquist


Safety is important in all areas of life. We spend lots of time and energy making sure we are safe — avoiding common dangers everywhere we go. We teach our children to look before crossing a road, lock our houses when we leave them, and wear a seat belt in the car. We protect passwords and important documents and, we only share information online on secure sites. These precautions protect us from preventable situations that jeopardize our lives and identities. Similar safety habits should also be applied when we make charitable gifts.

Although the majority of nonprofits have five star safety records, there are a few that take advantage of their donors. Recent headlines, spotlighting the ongoing investigation of four fraudulent cancer charities, provide a cautionary reminder to give wisely.

We have talked frequently on our blog about the ways you can safeguard your charitable donations. Here are three posts I recommend you read again, as they will help you give safely and wisely:

  • Giving Wisely: Five simple steps you can take to ensure your gift is being maximized and used properly.
  • Five Mistakes to Avoid When Giving: Five common mistakes frequently made by people when giving and how to avoid them.
  • 5 Reasons to Give Locally: Giving locally helps you see firsthand how your gifts are being put to work.  This blog post shares other reasons why we encourage you to give locally.

The Community Foundation works diligently to ensure that our fundholders’ charitable gifts are sent to trusted organizations. Just as we encourage you to do, we research and ask questions of these organizations to make sure the donations are being used appropriately. We take proactive steps to protect confidential information and use secure platforms for online giving, as we did for Midlands Gives. Our goal – to ensure that your donation is going to the organization you have selected and is appropriately spent by that organization. No one wants to be duped!

If you’d like to discuss ways to safeguard your charitable gifts, please call. We look forward to helping you give safely and wisely.



JoAnn Turnquist


JoAnn TurnquistJoAnn M. Turnquist is the President & CEO of Central Carolina Community Foundation, a nonprofit organization that links charitable people and businesses with areas of need in the Midlands. To learn more about the Foundation and view more blog posts, visit