CONSUMER CATCH-UP: How to donate safely this holiday season and make your dollar go further

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Americans are demonstrating their generosity this Giving Tuesday, but the Internal Revenue Service wants givers to use caution when opening their wallets.

The IRS issued a consumer alert warning taxpayers to be "wary of fake charities used by scammers to get money as well as sensitive financial and personal information from victims."

IRS warns donors to be on the lookout for fake charities this Giving Tuesday

The IRS noted that unsolicited calls asking for donations are a common scam tactic, and that consumers should not pay for donations by reading off numbers from a gift card or by wiring money -- two methods often used by scammers.

Consumers are urged to research a charity before donating. The IRS offers a searchable database of tax-exempt organizations on their website. Sites like GiveWell and Charity Navigator are also good places to check up on charities before giving.

Where can your donated dollar go the furthest?



Lots of charities are offering to match donations made today on Giving Tuesday. Here's a list of organizations that will give greater impact to every dollar you donate.

Giving Multiplier: This site allows you to split a donation to a charity of your choice plus one of Giving Multiplier's research-backed "super-effective" charities -- then Giving Multiplier will use pre-paid funds to match a percentage of your gift.

PayPal: Use PayPal's donation platform to give to one of the many partner nonprofits, and the company will match 1% of all donations made on Giving Tuesday through New Year's Eve.

Double the Donation: Find out if your employer will match your donation to your favorite organization by checking their database.

Facebook: The social media company will match eligible donations made through its Facebook Fundraisers platform, up to $8 million.

Humane Society: On Giving Tuesday, donations to the animal welfare organization will be tripled up to $300,000.

DonorsChoose: Help public school teachers and students by donating funds for classroom resources. On Giving Tuesday, DonorsChoose will match 50% of contributions.

Human Rights Watch: Gifts to this organization, which works to end human rights abuses worldwide, will be matched five times. That's right -- that means if you donate one dollar, your gift will turn into $5! Ends at midnight on Tuesday.

Sesame Workshop: The education nonprofit behind Sesame Street will match donations dollar-for-dollar, with a cap of $50,000.

Immigration Equality: This organizations assists LGBTQ people seeking asylum in the United States. On Giving Tuesday, all gifts will be doubled.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.



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