Digital Donations and Your Safety

February 19, 2021
Research & analysis

As the country battles a pandemic, we rely on the internet for nearly everything. We turn to technology to educate our children, order groceries and other household items, hold business meetings, attend religious services, and connect with family and friends. Charitable organizations are forced to postpone fundraising events and become more dependent on online donations. 

Charityvest—a financial technology platform that optimizes online donations—provides a secure and straightforward way to support the charities you care about. Charityvest is a donor-advised fund (DAF) without the traditional minimum opening balances and annual or service fees. 

Donating online is a quick and convenient way to give to charity. But as reports about security breaches and scams continue to make headlines, it’s essential to understand how to donate online safely. Suppose you’re concerned about the safety of your online donations. In that case, you’re not alone—92 percent of donors say it is crucial that NGOs, nonprofits, and charities make a concerted effort to protect their contact and financial information from data breaches.

How can I be sure a charity is legitimate?

Making donations directly to a nonprofit organization requires that you perform due diligence to determine if a group has tax-exempt status, which could take a considerable amount of time. You cannot assume a web address with a ".org" rather than a ".com" ending is a nonprofit organization. Anyone can purchase a ".org" web address. 

Charityvest does the work of verifying that an organization is legitimate for you — you can donate to any of the 1.4 million charities listed as tax-deductible in the Internal Revenue database. 


How can I protect my privacy?

When donating to individual organizations directly, the responsibility falls on you to investigate its privacy policies. If you’re making gifts to more than one charity, you would need to dedicate time and energy to carefully read each organization’s privacy policy thoroughly to safeguard your private information.

Before disclosing personal information, especially your credit card number, determine how the site plans to use your information and if it intends to sell it or exchange it. It is not adequate protection for the charity to agree not to sell your information if its vendor operating the site does not agree to respect your privacy.

One of the main goals of Charityvest is to make generosity easy. That includes our commitment only to collect the bare minimum personal data necessary. The only information we gather is the information required to comply with IRS guidelines. That’s it. We also don’t store data related to your bank or finances. Bank-level security is used for all Charityvest transactions.

How can I be sure my contributions go to the Charity?

At first glance, it may seem logical to make direct online donations to the charity of your choice. Unfortunately, when you donate to an organization’s website, they have to pay credit card processing fees and be responsible for transaction charges. And contributing to a charity through many third-party sites may charge you and the organization a transaction fee, which can significantly reduce the amount of your gift.

With Charityvest, 100% of your donation goes directly to the charity of your choice. Because we are a fee-free platform, donors know exactly where their money is going and are assured that their contributions will not be used for any credit card or administrative fees. 

There are significant benefits to setting up a personal charitable giving fund with Charityvest. When you donate through Charityvest, you can be assured that your donations are making a difference. Charityvest was founded on the premise that giving is good for the world. It should be easy; it should be free and efficient; that it should be about giving organizations the resources to do good. It’s that simple.

Learn more about how Charityvest can help you manage your charitable donations worry and risk free. Visit us at charityvest.org.

Create your Charityvest giving fund—it's free and takes 90 seconds.

Stephen Kump

Stephen is the chief of promoting generosity @ Charityvest. Former Bain consultant, philanthropic advisor, and military officer. Yale MBA.

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