AG Yost: Vet Disaster Relief Charities Before Donating

Jun 5, 2019

Donations have been pouring into local charities following Memorial Day's devastating tornado outbreak.

In one week, donors have given over $200,000 to the Greater Dayton Disaster Relief Fund, established by the Dayton Foundation. Some donations have come from as far as Japan. The foundation has already awarded some of this money to nonprofits providing aid directly to those affected, including the Foodbank of Dayton. Barbra Stonerock, with the Dayton Foundation, says they choose their grantees carefully.

"We are vetting organizations who are serving those individuals and ensuring that the grants that go out are going to the purpose for which they said they would they would serve," said Stonerock.

Some charities, including the Red Cross, have been accused of misusing donor funds after similar natural disasters.

State Attorney General Dave Yost says consumers should ensure charities are registered with the state before giving money. He also says it’s important to be mindful of how aid groups ask for contributions.

“Scammers like wire transfers and gift cards or prepaid money cards. They hate checks because of the paper trail," said Yost. "If you've got somebody on the other end of the line that is pushing you, urging you to act right now, that is not the sign of a legitimate charity."

Yost says consumers can report suspected charity scams on his office’s website