Coronavirus News: How to donate to charities safely during COVID-19 pandemic

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Tuesday is Giving Tuesday Now -- a day dedicated to global giving for coronavirus pandemic relief.

From local food banks to international nonprofits, charities have overwhelming need for donations right now and 7 On Your Side has tips for safe donation practices.

Giving Tuesday Now is a catalyst for supporting COVID-19 relief efforts worldwide.

"People are opening their hearts and their wallets and it;s very beneficial," said Michael Thatcher, the CEO of Charity Navigator.

Charity Navigator rates charities based on transparency, track record and other key factors.

COVID-19 crippled platforms to raise money as primary sources for raising funds like galas, runs, and walks all had to be canceled -- plus many are still haven't received a dime in in federal payroll loans.

"We are still waiting for money from the government but we're still committed to doing everything we can for our mission to help survivors," said Yasmeen Hamza with Womankind.

Counselors and advocates like those at Womankind, which assists abuse survivors, are working remotely during the pandemic.

The team at Charity Navigator says before you donate, plug the name of the organization into the navigator website. Always check and see if the group is registered as a 501c3 nonprofit, and has its EIN, or Employer ID Number.

Thatcher says you should ask questions like what are the goals, mission and history of the organization.

He says when given the chance, volunteer and give locally and in person. Local food banks and charities like the Women's Rights and Information Center in Englewood are in need of food for families they serve.

"I don't know how they're going to get income, I see this is the beginning of tremendous food scarcity," said Lisa Maurer with Women's Rights Information Center. "Giving gift cards or food would be optimal."

More big takeaways:

-Avoid robocalls, most legit charities are too busy helping to solicit money right now
-Don't click on links sent through your social media feed or via email or text
-When you donate, go directly to the website instead


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