TCU’s One Million Reasons held a forum Monday to help students understand the importance of vetting charities before they give money or time.
The financial literacy program hosted a speaker from the Community Foundation of North Texas, which acts as a liaison between donors and non-profits. Dr. Ron Pitcock, assistant dean of the John V, Roach Honors College who teaches a class on philanthropy, also spoke.
Students learned what to look for when trying to determine if a charity is legitimate, as well as the language charities use to woo donors. To combat the challenge of finding legitimate charities, Pitcock suggested using sites such as Guidestar or Charity Navigator to check a charity’s status.
These sites have information about nearly all charities including financial informations, IRS forms and its ratings of each charity. The information is used to help donors decide if the charity should receive their donations.
“We work so hard to hold a budget and focus on financial wellness,” said Rachael Capua, assistant director of the Sophomore & Junior Year Experience. “But knowing what we’re doing when we are investing in non-profits is important because giving back is such a big part of what we do and what we encourage.”
The event also had a speaker from the Community Foundation of North Texas, a company who is a liaison between people who want to donate and non-profits.
“How powerful it is to get people together who are passionate about the same cause,” said Community Foundation representative Jessica Siegel.
Pitcock said donors need to be careful because scams can be profitable.
“It shocks me that a nonprofit that is doing nothing can raise $120 million,” said Pitcock. “That’s staggering. That shouldn’t happen.”
Pitcock said there are both good non-profits and scams in Fort Worth.
“You have a lot of non-profits right here in Fort Worth that aren’t good,” said Pitcock. “They’re doing a bad job and all their doing is raising money and they help no one.”