Charities: Protecting Our Elderly Loved Ones From Scammers

Writing about charities for this series is hard because I know there are legitimate charities that need financial support. This post is not about not giving, but rather know where the money is being given.

There are many legitimate charities that do good and need donations to help. But then there are charities set up by scammers and some legitimate charities whose names have been highjacked by scammers. When supporting a charity, everyone needs to do their research. No one, especially our elderly loved ones should be taken in by scammers because they think they are supporting a legitimate charity.

Charities: Protecting Our Elderly Loved Ones From Scammers Series #charities #fraud #scams #family

Charities: Protecting Our Loved Ones
from Scammers Series

In today’s society, many charities pay third party groups to solicit donations. Scammers know this and will use a charity’s name to scam the donor. When those calls come through, if they are legit, they will wait for the donor to think about it a few days. This will give your loved one time to contact you to help them in deciding if to donate. If the caller is not willing to call back, then they don’t need the donor’s money.

Mailings are the biggest form of collecting donations. Sometimes it’s hard to know when a mailing is legitimate. When in doubt, contact the charity directly to make sure forms are not bogus. Double check their privacy policy in the paper work, it should be posted so you'll know how your information is stored and/or shared.

While I’m talking about charities, I have a bone to pick with them.

Charities that bring in 300 million dollars a year, pay their president and other staff members upwards of 30 million, and spends 25 million on fundraising on top of their other expenses but yet they still need financial help?!!!

When you research a charity’s financial report, it is obvious some charities need to make some drastic changes. When they hound the elderly with packages of note cards, calendars, and dimes; things they spent millions of dollars on, it boils my blood. They know the elderly generation feels the need to pay for those note cards and calendars. They also know many of these little people are living paycheck to paycheck and will squeeze out any money they can donate, while the charity gladly accepts it.

Talk with your loved one about charity donations. The best way you can help them is to make a charity giving plan. Plan when the donations will be sent whether it is monthly, twice a year, or annually. Instead of giving small donations to a bunch of charities, choose one or two charities to give larger amounts to; keep the schedule and records current. One important thing, stay knowledgeable about the works of the charity and their financial records. If something fishy is going on, you may want to advise your loved one to reconsider giving to them.

Charities: Protecting Our Elderly Loved Ones From Scammers Series #charities #fraud #scams #family

When considering charities to give to, think about local organizations.  Local food banks and shelters will take monetary and gift donations.  The l 4-H and FFA organizations work with community kids in gaining the knowledge they need for their future years. We're a 4-H family and every state does things a little differently; our local group is involved with the elderly in our county. They spend time with them at the senior center and at the nursing homes. During the Christmas season, we collected personal care items, candy, and mints to give as gifts to these precious people. I highly recommend supporting your local 4-H.

Finally, if your loved one is adamant about supporting a cause, find a missionary who is on the field, working. Every year, churches bring in missionaries who share their burden. These special people need financial help from supporters. If there is a missionary your loved one is burdened to support and their church does not support them, then encourage them to support them anyway. Missionaries have mission boards or their home church that help them with their support. They’ll be giving to a good cause, the Gospel being shared.

As I said before, I am not writing to discourage our elderly loved ones from giving. I’m writing to encourage you and them to research the charity before writing the check.

Resources You May Find Helpful:

The Federal Trade Commission: Before Giving to a Charity

Charity Navigator – research a charity, sign up is free

How to Chose a Charity Wisely

You can find the first two parts in this series here.

Charities: Protecting Our Elderly Loved Ones From Scammers Series #charities #fraud #scams #family


  1. Thanks Lori, this was very helpful makes me be more cautious.

  2. This is good!! My daddy gets tons of cards, calendars, calculators, pens, etc from charities and he feels like he needs to send them money every now and then. I keep telling him to STOP and eventually the mailings will stop. I get frustrated too, but can't seem to get him to understand. He doesn't send them very much, but he is def. in this gullible category.

    1. I hate to hear that, Penny. It took several months of me explaining to my mom where her money was going for her stop. Not too long ago I hear her telling she needed to pay for that dime. I told her what we did with the $2 we received from a charity;I put it in my pocket and threw out the papers. Some of those places are sitting on millions of dollars at the end of the year, they don't need the support they claim.


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