Today is Giving Tuesday, a day each year when millions of people all over the world donate to a variety of charitable causes. The event, held annually since 2012 on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, is known worldwide as a “global generosity movement” that unleashes the power of people and organizations to support life-changing and impactful transformations through donations of kindness, time, funds, goods, and advocacy. Even in the midst of COVID, over $2.47 billion dollars was raised on GivingTuesday 2020 – a significant increase from the $1.97 billion dollars raised during GivingTuesday 2019. There’s good reason to believe that Giving Tuesday 2021 will see just as much, if not more of, a success than previous years.
For those of us who will be among the millions of donors, volunteers and social media engagers looking for organizations to support, it is really important that we do our due diligence and make sure we know about the organizations we want to support. It is not enough to simply know their mission and location, we must also confirm that we are donating money, services and time to actual organizations, not cybercriminals pretending to be from said organizations. We would like to think that cybercriminals have some sort of moral code preventing them from scamming certain businesses or groups of people (i.e., people within our most vulnerable populations). Sadly, this is not the case, and it is up to us to take the necessary precautions to keep ourselves and our assets protected against cybercrime.
The Federal Trade Commission gives great tips and information regarding the minimal precautions one should practice when preparing to donate to and/or engage with charitable organizations online. These include doing your research on the organization before you donate or commit to support; being mindful of how you pay; recording your donations; and paying attention to that little voice in your head warning you when someone is trying to pressure you into donating a certain way if it doesn’t seem right.
by LaShaune R. Littlejohn of Phoenix Star Creative, LLC