NGOs help citizens work as a team for better civic goals and social values. These organizations aren’t handled by bureaucrats, so they offer flexibility and speed of action in their work. They also serve the public interest and are non-profit making.
While there are several benefits of NGOs such as Auroveda, like any other industry it is also susceptible to scams. This is why it is important to check whether or not they are operating legally.
How can you tell if an NGO is legitimate or not? Here are a few tips you can follow:
The first thing you can do is in-depth research about the NGO’s online presence. For this, you can check their website, social media handles, and review pages that have mentioned them. See how consistent they are with their updates.
You must also check the comments on their posts for any negative feedback. If someone mentions them being a scam or fraud, ask them about their experience.
If the reviews aren’t visible on social media sites, look for their Google reviews. You may find valuable information and feedback there as well.
2. Check Their Contact Information
A genuine NGO would understand their customer’s needs and put valid contact information on their websites. This could be in the form of toll-free numbers, emails, or even a live chat customer support feature.
In addition to this, they would also list their main brand address so people can pay a visit.
However, if an NGO lacks this information, there are higher chances that they aren’t genuine. Recognized NGOs do not work in secrecy and keep themselves open for visits.
Their services are flexible, so donors would know everything about the process. So, if they don’t have genuine contact information, it’s best to rethink your donation initiatives with the NGO.
3. Ask Questions After Connecting
Once you find their contact information, connect with them and ask questions. This is the time when you can clear all your doubts related to the donations. Whether it’s related to their registration, validation, or how the money transfer process works. Make sure you know get all the information you can and validate your concerns.
You could also ask for proof that shows the money is being used for the said cause. Say, if you are donating to a sick patient, you can ask for their medical records or any other data that may be relevant to the cause. Similarly, ask for images as proof if you are contributing to any ‘Feed the Needy’ campaigns.
If they are legitimate, you will get a satisfactory and straightforward answer to all your questions as this data would be readily available to them.
4. Visit the NGO
If you are still unsure whether the NGO is genuine or not, visit their main branch to clear your doubts. In most cases, the address will be provided on their website, or you can Google the same.
If there is no NGO branch in your city, you can ask any known person residing in the city where the NGO has a branch to verify once and for all. By paying a direct visit, you will be able to know the NGO more clearly and feel more secure about your donation.
5. Look For Warning Signs
If an NGO is a fraud, it will show some warning signs. So, make sure to be cautious if you see any of these listed signs:
- Over-pressurising: Despite how much they need your support, a valid NGO would not over-pressurize you to make donations. They would understand your situation and welcome the donation when you are comfortable to offer. Of course, they could convince you, but they would maintain decorum.
- Thank-you Scam: Scammers may contact you and thank you for the donation you never made. This is a tactic they use so that you make donations to them. Beware of such calls and report them immediately.
- Cash Payment: Cash payments are difficult to trace. So, ingenuine NGOs would push you to make cash donations. No matter what, always pay through cheques or an online mode that can be traced.
Hopefully, now you know how to identify whether an NGO is legitimate or not. This is not to say that you should be skeptical about NGOs. NGOs work for a great cause and every help pushes them to work harder. These are just a precaution you can take from your side to feel comfortable about the decisions you choose to make.