When tragedy strikes, there’s a well-known Mr. Rogers quote that reminds us all to “Look for the helpers.” During catastrophic events or natural disasters, this quote encourages us all to find the positive things others are doing that inspire each of us to be helpers, too.
If you’re wondering how you can be a helper, here are some tips to guide you on your way. By keeping these in mind, you can make sure your contributions are getting assistance to those who need it most.
- Choose your cause. There are countless organizations you can choose to contribute to. Find one that resonates with you, whether it’s focused on children, medical assistance, or pets.
- Learn what’s most helpful. What’s needed most can vary based on the situation, as well as the cause you’re supporting. Some organizations may benefit most from physical donations of food or clothing, while others need monetary donations that allow them to purchase what they need, when they need it.
- Find an organization. As you research an organization to support, take a close look at their website. Look for their mission, business model, and need for, as well as planned use of, donations. To learn more about an organization, look up information using sites such as Charity Navigator or Guide Star.
- Ask how the money will be used. Make sure your donation will go toward what’s important to you. Ask questions such as: Can my donation be earmarked for a specific initiative? What percentage of my donation will go to administrative costs? Will the organization use the money for their own efforts or pass them on to someone else?
- Donate safely. Most reputable companies will allow you to donate via a secure website. If you’re getting undue pressure to donate immediately or an organization is only accepting cash or wire transfer donations, it may be a scam. Refrain from sharing your financial account or personal information, such as your Social Security number, with anyone.
- Learn the red flags. Unfortunately, some scammers may take advantage of your good will. Be careful when opening attachments or clicking on links in emails soliciting donations. Delete emails littered with typos, grammatical errors, or company names that are oddly similar to, but ever-so-slightly-different-from, well-known organizations.
You work hard for your money. These tips can help make sure the dollars you choose to donate are well-spent. For more ways you can make the most of your money, visit psecu.com/walletworks.