Secretary of State Mark Hammond Reminds South Carolina Donors to ‘Give Smart’ When Helping Ukraine and Ukrainian Refugees

(COLOMBIA) — South Carolina Secretary of State Mark Hammond has issued an advisory reminding donors supporting the Ukrainian nation and Ukrainian refugees to practice wise charitable giving. “Our prayers are with the people of Ukraine as they fight for their lives and freedom against Russia’s senseless act of aggression,” Secretary Hammond said. “I know South Carolinians want to help in any way they can. In times of crisis, it is imperative that donors remain vigilant and remember to give from the heart, but to give intelligently. »

Secretary Hammond encourages donors to follow these guidelines when making a charitable contribution during a crisis or disaster:

Make sure the charity you’re donating to has a long history of helping people in need. Donors should consider limiting their donations to charities with a long track record of transparency and accountability, and that have the infrastructure to deliver resources to intended recipients. “In times of disaster, underground organizations appear and take advantage of the urgency of the situation. Unfortunately, they can disappear just as quickly with your donation in hand,” Secretary Hammond said. “Please use the Charity search on our website to check whether a charity is registered to solicit in South Carolina and to review its financial information, including the most recent financial report. Also, beware of organizations that use names or web addresses that resemble those of well-established charities. Fraudulent charities often use familiar-sounding or generic names in an attempt to confuse donors.

Ask questions and don’t feel obligated to contribute right away. If a person or charity requesting a donation is legitimate, they will appreciate the opportunity for you to ask questions about how your contribution will be used and to independently review their charitable activity before making a donation. “Not only are donors being hurt by unscrupulous lawyers, but so are legitimate charities,” Secretary Hammond said. “When a donor is scammed, it diverts needed resources and erodes trust in the charitable sector. That’s why good charities support donors who take the time to do their homework before making a contribution. Also, always ask how much of your donation will go to the charity. Phone canvassers and crowdfunding platforms charge fees for their services, which are deducted from your charitable donation.

Beware of giving out your personal and financial information. Scammers will use a crisis as an opportunity to steal both your money and your identity. Never give out your social security number in response to charitable solicitations and only use your credit card to donate to reputable organizations.

Warn the Office of the Secretary of State if you have any questions or concerns. You can contact the Public Charities Division at charities@sos.sc.gov or 1-888-CHARITI (242-7484). If you want to file a complaint about a charity, professional fundraiser or raffle, you can use the Charitable Solicitation Online Complaint Form at sos.sc.gov to lodge a confidential complaint 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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