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Be smart

Not all legitimate requests

Erin Fletcher
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Apr 11/03) - Be careful who you make charitable donations to.

A legitimate organization will provide its canvassers with official receipt books, ID tag with the person's name, contact information and a charitable number, said Don Babey, Yellowknife Women's Centre Association director of organization development and a United Way volunteer.

"If someone phones you, get the contact information for the organization and confirm that it is correct," Babey said. "Call them back instead of giving the information over the telephone.

"If someone is reluctant to do that, there might be something up."

The safest way to make a donation is through the United Way's payroll deduction, Babey said. The donation can be made to any NWT charitable organization.

A tax receipt is provided on the employee's T4 slip at the end of the year.

"It's the most secure way for someone to give," Babey said.

If you choose to donate to a canvasser, use a cheque or credit card.

Never give cash. Cheques can only be cashed by the organization and charges can be reversed on credit cards.

"I'd be reluctant to give cash to any charity other than small pocket change," Babey said.

The SPCA gathers door-to-door donations periodically for events like the Dog Jog pledge, but volunteers will have a proper receipt book and ID, said NWT SPCA member Robin Weber.

"If you're the least suspicious say 'no'," Weber advises.