1. Never give your credit card number or other personal financial information to unknown callers.
2. Ask who’s calling--a professional solicitor or an employee of the charity? If the call is from a telemarketing company, ask what percentage of your gift the charity will receive.
3. Get the name straight. Many organizations raising money for the same cause have names similar enough to confuse donors, sometimes intentionally.
4. Ask for specifics about the charity, if it’s unfamiliar. The caller should be able to tell you the organization’s purpose, whether contributions to it are tax deductible, how a gift will be used and how much of it will go to the charity’s program. Better still, ask for written information, read it carefully and check whether your local BBB has information on the charity.
5. Resist pressure. A responsible charity respects your right to make a thoughtful decision.
6. Opt out of future calls from the soliciting charity, if you wish. The national Do Not Call Registry does not generally apply to charity calls, but you have the right to ask a telemarketer not to call again on behalf of a particular charity.