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Tips for donating to authentic charitable foundations after disaster strikes

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) -

The Lowcountry Chapter of the Red Cross says they don't have plans, as of now, to send volunteers to Nepal.

However, they are starting to receive donations to send to the disaster stricken country following the deadly 7.8 magnitude earthquake.

Red Cross officials warn when a disaster hits scammers can try to take advantage of  people's generosity.

There are some things people can do to make sure the organization they donate to is legitimate.

The Red Cross works closely with Coastal Community Foundation, which is a local non-profit that helps people decide who and what causes to donate money to.

Coastal Community Foundation's interim president, Richard Hendry, suggests checking out the organization's website first.

According to Hendry, most authentic non- profits have websites that clearly show a mission statement, board of directors and a break down of how their money is distributed.

If that information isn't easily found, Hendry warns to be cautious.

Hendry says the biggest mistake people when donating is doing it out of emotion before doing research.

"If you're going to give money, I think you should spend more than ten minutes deciding who to give it to," said Hendry.

Hendry says if donors are uneasy about giving money to lesser known organizations. go with a familiar one.

Also, if donors are interested in directing funds towards a specific need, be specific about what organization you donate to.

Right now, the Red Cross is offering two easy, secure ways to donate to the Nepal disaster from your phone.

An advertisement is currently popping up in iTunes for it. People can click on that and donate anywhere from five to 200 dollars to the American Red Cross.

You can also text "redcross" to 90999. It will automatically donate ten dollars.

Local organizations like Water Missions International are also taking donations to aid Nepal.

If you feel like you need more guidance when it comes to donating your money, you can call Coastal Community Foundation.

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