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Giving Wisely to Veterans-related Charities

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Choosing your charities with care

Even if you select a well-known charity, take the time to find out exactly where your money is going and what it is being used for.  Select organizations whose interest and concerns are similar to your own and evaluate the organization’s goals and programs.

Check to see if the charity is registered with the Division of Consumer Protection and has reported its contributions and expenses.  Consumers will find this list, along with the charity’s report of the percentage of contributions going to its charitable purpose, by accessing our Registered Charities Search.

In addition, where possible check the charity’s references.  For example, if you are asked to make contributions to benefit veterans, before you make a donation contact the Department of Veteran’s Affairs at http://veterans.utah.gov/.

Tips on Giving Wisely

The following tips will help consumers ensure their donations go to a legitimate charity;

  1. Recognize that the words "veterans" or "military families" in an organization’s name does not necessarily mean that veterans or the families of active-duty personnel will benefit from your donation.
  2. Donate to charities with a track record and a history. Charities that spring up overnight may disappear just as quickly.
  3. If you have any doubt about whether you have made a pledge or a contribution, check your records. If you can’t remember making the donation or pledge, resist the pressure to give.
  4. Check out an organization before donating. Some phony charities use names, seals and logos that look or sound like those of respected, legitimate organizations.
  5. Call the Utah Division of Consumer Protection at (801) 530-6601 to see whether the charity or fundraising organization has to be registered in Utah.
  6. Do not send or give cash donations. For security and tax record purposes, it’s best to pay by check made payable to the charity.
  7. Ask for a receipt showing the amount of your contribution.
  8. Be wary of promises of guaranteed sweepstakes winnings in exchange for a contribution. You never have to give a donation to be eligible to win a sweepstakes.

Additional Resources for Consumers

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consumerprotection@utah.gov  |  160 East 300 South   Salt Lake City, Utah 84111  |  Phone: 801-530-6601  |  Toll-Free: 1-800-721-SAFE  |  Fax: 801-530-6001