Consumer Alert: Make sure donations count in wake of Baton Rouge shootings

Courtesy:  Louisiana Office of Attorney General
Courtesy: Louisiana Office of Attorney General(KNOE)
Published: Jul. 21, 2016 at 11:48 AM CDT
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After Sunday’s senseless tragedy, many Louisiana residents and businesses are looking for ways to help – like donating to charities and relief funds. Attorney General Jeff Landry wants to ensure those contributions truly support the officers and families impacted.

“We are grateful for the tremendous outpouring of support from our State, across our Nation, and around the world,” said General Landry. “To ensure their donations actually reach those they intend to help, we are urging contributors to use their best judgment and take some simple precautions.”

If you are making a charitable donation to support the fallen or wounded officers and their families, consider these tips:

+ Donate to charities you know and trust. Give to organizations with proven track records and always ask what percentage of your donation will go directly to those in need. Look for American-based organizations to be 501(c)(3) certified by the Internal Revenue Service.

+ Check out the charity with the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Watch, or GuideStar.

+ Be alert for charities that seem to have sprung up overnight. Avoid “look alike” websites resembling legitimate charitable organizations or law enforcement and emergency response agencies.

+ Do not assume that charity posts on social media are legitimate. Research the “charitable organization.”

+ Never send cash. Make donations by check or by credit card, both for security and tax purposes.

+ Reject high-pressure appeals. Legitimate charities will give consumers time to consider their gifts and to research the organization to which they are donating.

For a list of fundraising accounts already vetted by the Louisiana Department of Justice, visit Attorney General Jeff Landry’s website [link posted in related links section of this story].

Please note that the information is not a comprehensive list of the organizations doing important work and that updates will be made as they become available.