Charity Alert: How To Spot Saviors From Scammers - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Charity Alert: How To Spot Saviors From Scammers

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At the headquarters for Feeding America San Diego, part of the nation's largest anti-hunger non-profit, the supply of food can barely keep up with the increasing demand.\r\n\r\nGary McDonald heads the organization, which supplies more than 1 million pounds of food locally every month, more than twice what it had originally budgeted for, feeding hundreds of thousands of low-income San Diegans.\r\n\r\n"We bring in the food for ten cents a pound, which makes us one of the most efficient, cost-efficient non-profits in San Diego County," McDonald said.\r\n\r\nLike so many other worthy and legitimate charities during these tough economic times, finding donors to give both their money and time is crucial, especially when there are so many phony operations competing for those same dollars.\r\n\r\n"Unfortunately we see this time of year a lot of sound-alike charities or people putting boxes out in front of stores claiming they're collecting cash donations for a charity, and quite often those donations don't make it to the charity, even if it's a legitimate charity," San Diego Better Business Bureau President and CEO Sheryl Bilbrey said.\r\n\r\nWhen choosing a charity, Sheryl Bilbrey of San Diego's Better Business Bureau recommends never giving cash. Mailing a check directly is a better option. And before parting with your hard-earned dollars, be sure to ask questions.\r\n\r\n "How much is going to programs, how much is going to fundraising and administration. For us, 96 cents of every dollar goes to programs," McDonald said.\r\n\r\nYou can also background non-profits on websites like and, and request their 990 tax return to see how far donors' dollars are actually going to help those in need.\r\n\r\n"If you give us $100, we can turn that into 1000 pounds of food valued at $1,500," McDonald said.\r\n\r\n"There are all kinds of charities that will be soliciting this holiday season. Just remember, don't let the charity pick you, you pick the charity you want to contribute to," Bilbrey said.\r\n
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