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How to Give Smart on Giving Tuesday in North Dakota

North Dakotans are being urged to give wisely during Giving Tuesday.
North Dakotans are being urged to give wisely during Giving Tuesday.
November 30, 2015

BISMARCK, N.D. – Now that the excitement of Black Friday and Cyber Monday is winding down, the focus Tuesday will be on charitable causes.

Giving Tuesday is a day when North Dakotans are asked to think about giving to strangers who are less fortunate.

Annette Bauer, a spokeswoman for Salvation Army Northern Division, says as part of Giving Tuesday, her group is kicking off a new Internet campaign to make donating easier.

"We're really doing this push called Give Christmas Away, an opportunity for people to just make an online gift saying, 'I have all I need for Christmas, I'm going to give my Christmas away. I don't need anything,'" she explains.

Bauer says with the new campaign, anyone who wants to donate can create and then share his or her personal donor webpage. In lieu of gifts for that person, friends and family can go to that page and donate money, which Bauer says will go towards "holiday meals, toys and basic necessities" for local people and families.

But if you are in the giving mood this Tuesday, one consumer watchdog groups is warning people to be aware of charity scammers.

Dan Hendrickson, communications coordinator for Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota, says not every group is as trustworthy as the Salvation Army.

"Giving Tuesday is a great thing,” he stresses. “It kind of harnesses the power of social media to highlight charitable giving and the good works people do.

“We're still saying it's important to do your research. Go to give.org, have an understanding of the charity's operations, how they use the money they raised."

The Better Business Bureau lists the Salvation Army as an accredited charity, because it discloses all of its financial information.

Hendrickson says when charities don't do that, it could be a red flag for potential donors.

Brandon Campbell, Public News Service - ND