BOUNTIFUL — Within a matter of days, crowd funding websites reportedly raised more than $2 million to support Boston Marathon bombing victims.
Online giving provides a quick and easy mechanism for supporting those in need, a Better Business Bureau Utah press release said.
But it warns potential donors to ask questions and know what to expect when contributing through such sites.
Crowd funding sites are set up to allow solicitation of money for various purposes, including to groups claiming to be charitable organizations.
Some donations through these sites may not be tax deductible as charitable donations, the release said.
Crowd funding sites typically take from 5 to 20 percent of the donation and may also deduct payment processing fees. In some cases, a site may allow donors to cover all such fees. But often, the recipient may not receive the full amount donated.
If you want to ensure the charity receives the full amount given, check the charity’s website and make a direct online contribution, the release said.
“Giving is a personal choice” said Jane Driggs, president and CEO of Better Business Bureau Utah in the release. “If you desire to give, spend a few minutes making the most of that gift.”
Consider donating to a charity set up by people you personally know or trust, or to victim relief funds overseen by an appointed trustee or attorney, or a reliable charity with appropriate expertise, she said.
Crowd funding donations made to support a specific individual or family are considered a “personal gift” and are not a charitable contribution.
Check out charities through bbb.org and research charities through the Utah Department of Commerce, which registers charities.