Nebraska mourns the loss of Omaha Police Department Officer Kerrie Orozco. As we cope with this tragedy, many Nebraskans will feel compelled to do what they can to offer help to the Orozco family. Currently, the Omaha Police Department has indicated there are two authorized locations where financial contributions will reach the Orozco family: the Omaha Police Foundation and the Omaha Police Credit Union.
In times like these, it is especially important for Nebraskans to direct their generosity wisely. Internet and social media campaigns can easily be created to look legitimate, but ultimately provide little benefit to those in need. As such, the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office has compiled Giving Tips for donors, charities, and fundraising platforms, which outline some of the basic precautions all Nebraskans should take before they give. Especially important to remember:
- Make sure you are donating to a legitimate charity – research the charity before giving by using resources such as the Nebraska Secretary of State, IRS Select Check, BBB Wise Giving Alliance,Charity Navigator, GuideStar, and the National Center for Charitable Statistics.
- Be cautious when considering giving to newly formed charities since they won’t have a track record that you can take into consideration. Some charities are formed shortly after tragedies and may have the best of intentions; however, an existing charity is more likely to have the sound management and experience to quickly respond to these situations, and it will have a track record which you can review.
- If you are considering making a gift to an individual or family through a fundraiser, instead of an established charity, ask the fundraiser whether there is a trust or deposit account established for the individual’s or family’s benefit. Contact the banking institution to verify the existence of the account.
- If a website has a “donate” button, see whether you can designate a specific purpose for your donation. If you can’t, contact the charity to be sure your donation will be spent for the purposes you intend.