MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - In Alabama, we are very familiar with natural disasters. Whether its fire damage or storm damage it happens all too often. Alabamians are always very eager to help, but before you open up your wallet you may need to do some homework.
"Alabamians are very generous in their giving,” said David Smitherman with the Better Business Bureau. “But you want to make sure when you're donating to a cause after a disaster or tragedy, that your dollars will go where you want them to go."
Sometimes scammers may be trying to get a hold of your money. Other times a group of people or a non-profit may be trying to help. Bottom line, unless it’s a well known national non-profit, or someone you know, you may need to do some research.
“There are a lot of well meaning organizations who want to take up toys, gifts, diapers, and clothes, but it doesn’t do any good if they don’t have the wherewithal to actually get them where they are supposed to be, and have someone on the other end who can distribute the goods to people affected.” Smitherman said.
A lot of people use crowd funding after a disaster. Consumer experts say you need to do your homework here, especially if you don't know they people who set up the crowd funding account. Most of those crowd funding donations are not tax deductible.
You can actually look up different charities to see which ones are registered. You can find that information at this website.