There are some great charities to contribute your time or money to, but make sure you don't get scammed or ripped off.


Today is "Giving Tuesday," a day (from Google) "often described as a global day of giving or a global generosity movement, is held each year on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving. Since this first annual day of giving in 2012, nonprofits in the United States have raised more than $1.9 billion. In 2019, nonprofits in the US raised more than $500 million dollars online alone."

And while we at KDXU wholeheartedly endorse giving time, energy, talents and even money to good causes, we also want to serve notice that there are people out there, even some charities, that are less than honest.

From the website,

"Con artists refer to what they do as a hustle. A hustle is like the 70’s disco dance. It’s made up of series of regular steps timed to the beat of the music that can be improvised as needed. Charity hustles work the same way. They improvise and evolve to stay one step ahead of unsuspecting donors.

One very common hustle is the name game. For example, a very well known and respected group is the Make a Wish Foundation. This organization spends the vast majority of its donations on children. Kids Wish Network, however, spends only 3 cents of every dollar collected on kids. But their website and solicitations are designed to look and sound like Make a Wish. In fact, they count on the confusion to gather contributions."

SmartAsset says there are excellent ways to see through the deceptions:

3d Illustration depicting an illuminated neon sign with a scam concept.

"The tell is a poker term. It means an opposing player does something to indicate he or she is bluffing. There are all sorts of questions that you could go through to determine if the solicitor on the other end of the phone is from an honest to goodness charity or not. They all require time and patience to learn and implement. The most sure-fire solution is to ask for the name of the organization and a means to contact them so you can make your donation at another time.

"When you do this, depending on the experience of the solicitor, you will either hear a lot of fast talking or angry response or you will be provided the information. Legitimate charities with nothing to hide will tell you how you can make your contribution later and hustlers will get annoyed."

And finally, SmartAsset sums it up nicely:

"Before you make a contribution to any organization it is wise to know who they are and what they do. No legitimate fundraising effort is so urgent that if you do not make your contribution right at that moment someone will suffer. A day or two or even a week is not going to make a difference. So take the time to research.

"There are a number of websites where you can check the status of a nonprofit. It only takes minutes but allows you to feel better about your donation. requires that you sign up for a free account in order to receive very detailed reports on organizations. provides a limited amount of information without a free membership. More detailed information is available to members. The Better Business Bureau has been around for decades. They provide free information that is easily digestible at a glance."

Getty Images/iStockphoto
Getty Images/iStockphoto

So who can you feel pretty good about giving money to? According to the website, these charities give almost every cent donated to their stated groups in need:

Charity NamePercentage of funds that go directly to the cause, versus administrative or fundraising costs
International Children's Fund99.70%
The Foodbank of Southern California99.60%
CIS Development Foundation99.50%
Matthew 25: Ministries99.40%
Kids In Need Foundation99.40%
Brother's Brother Foundation99.40%
Direct Relief99.40%
MAP International99.30%
Delivering Good99.30%
Books For Africa99.20%
Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma99.20%
Christian Blind Mission International99.20%
Midwest Food Bank, NFP99.20%
World Medical Relief99.20%
Feeding Tampa Bay99.10%
Feeding America's Hungry Children99.10%
Caring Voice Coalition99.00%
Foster Care to Success99.00%

Source: Charity Navigator

Please give on Giving Tuesday, but also be smart where you choose to share!

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