After the devastating flooding in Dickson, Hickman, Houston and Humphreys counties this weekend, Secretary of State Tre Hargett encourages Tennesseans to be wary of scams when making charitable donations to relief efforts.
“Tennesseans are generous and support each other through tragedy,” said Secretary Hargett. “Unfortunately, there are bad actors who will try to capitalize on this disaster. It’s important to pause before donating to make sure an organization is legitimate.”
To avoid scams and maximize recovery efforts, Secretary Hargett suggests following the tips in the Wise Giving Tips video from the Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming at sos.tn.gov/products/charitable-solicitations-and-gaming/tips-giving.
If a nonprofit asks you for a contribution, check to see if it is registered online at sos.tn.gov/charitable or by calling 615-741-2555.
Take your time. Resist pressure to give on the spot.
Ask Questions. If an organization has a specific mission, ask how and who will benefit from your donation.
If you are asked for a donation via text or email, verify the request is directly from the charity or nonprofit.
Do your own research and do not assume a social media or blog recommendation has been approved by the nonprofit.
If you give through an app or website, ask if it is going directly to the organization.
Avoid giving cash. Always ask for a receipt and if your contribution is tax deductible.
Pay close attention to the name of the nonprofit organization, as there are many with similar names
Do not forget there are many ways to give, such as volunteering your time.
If a paid fundraiser asks you for a donation, ask how much is kept by the fundraiser and how much goes to the nonprofit.
“Our prayers are with the Tennesseans who lost loved ones and everyone affected by the deadly flooding,” said Secretary Hargett. “Thank you to all those who are working to provide assistance.”
Any charity that raises over $50,000 a year must register with the Secretary of State’s Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming. To see if a charity is registered with the State of Tennessee visit, sos.tn.gov/charitable or call 615-741-2555. As Tennessee’s charity officials, please report any false, misleading or deceptive fundraising activity to the Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming at 615-741-2555.