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Don’t Get Short-Circuited When Donating by Text Message
From the Office of Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson
Giving to charity is now as easy as hitting “send” on a text message. Donating by text is increasingly popular, particularly after natural disasters or other tragedies when people want a convenient way to help. But many people do not know that text donations can take a long time to reach a charity, and a portion often goes to a for-profit “middle man” who processes the donation. People can avoid these pitfalls, however, if they remember a few simple tips.
How Does Donating by Text Work?
Television, radio, or social media announcements often ask people to give a certain amount, typically $5 or $10, by texting a specific keyword to a five- or six-digit number. The donation is then added on to the user’s phone bill at the end of the month. After the bill is paid, the wireless carrier passes the money to a third-party company to process. The donation processing company, in turn, gives the donation to the charity.
How Much of a Text Donation Goes to Charity?
Be wary of any claim that 100% of a text donation will go to the charity. Donation processing companies may take a percentage “cut” of every text donation and charge the charity administrative fees. To find out how much of a text donation will benefit the charity, contact the charity directly and ask.
When Do Text Donations Reach the Charity?
Keep in mind that donations will not reach the chosen charity until after donors pay their phone bill. Because donations must also still be processed by a third-party company, it can sometimes take up to several months for a donation to actually reach the charity. To make a donation that is immediately available to the charity, donate directly to the charity.
Avoid Scams When Giving By Text
Be wary of unsolicited text messages asking for a donation. Unsolicited requests may be from an imposter, not a legitimate charity.
Before donating by text, contact the charity directly and make sure it has authorized donations by text message, that this particular text message was sent on behalf of the charity, and ask at the same time how much of the text donation the charity will actually receive.
Finally, never provide personal or financial information over text message as part of a donation to charity; charities do not need this information to accept a donation by text, and it can be a red flag of a potential scam.
Contact the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office
For further information on charitable donations or to file a complaint about questionable charities or solicitation practices, you may contact the Attorney General’s Office as follows:
Office of Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson
445 Minnesota Street, Suite 1400
St. Paul, MN 55101
(651) 296-3353 (Twin Cities Calling Area)
(800) 657-3787 (Outside the Twin Cities)
TTY: (651) 297-7206 or TTY: (800) 366-4812
Click on a page link below to view the March 8, 2019
With 7 great events and snow totals 50 percent ahead of last year, 2019 is a great year for snowmobiling on the Gunflint Trail near Grand Marais
GRAND MARAIS, MINN. (Jan. 24, 2019) -- This year, outdoor adventure seekers traveling to the North Shore and Gunflint Trail are in for a treat, because snowfall totals in the region have already surpassed previous years by over 50 percent.
It’s a good year to be a snowmobiler as Snowmobile Trails are being cleared around the clock by teams of committed volunteers. For more information on local trail conditions visit: https://www.visitcookcounty.com/winter-trail-conditions/
From January to March, visitors can participate or join in the fun as spectators at any of the upcoming snowmobile and fishing events throughout Cook County. A crowd favorite for many years are the many “Drag Races” which are timed heats with radar guns.
Saturday, Feb. 16 Hungry Jack Drag Races at Hungry Jack Lodge https://www.visitcookcounty.com/event/hungry-jack-drag-races/
Saturday, Mar. 2 Annual Trout Derby Hosted by the Cook County Ridge Riders https://www.visitcookcounty.com/event/annual-trout-derby/
Saturday, Mar. 9 Poplar Haus Drag Races at Poplar Lake
Friday, Apr. 27 - Saturday, Apr. 28 Midwest Extreme Snowmobile Challenge-
The Midwest Extreme Snowmobile Challenge is the best end to any snowmobile season. A two-day event at Lutsen Mountains and your chance to feel like a pro rider. Organized by COR Powersports, entrants in the Hillclimb will face the steepest course in the Midwest. The top 3 riders of this event will earn spots at the Jackson Hole World Championship Hillclimbs. This is an event not to be missed. More information on registration and lodging can be viewed here:
About Visit Cook County
Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior”. Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades -- most recently it was named USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #donorthmn, Twitter @CookCoVisitors, Facebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at www.visitcookcounty.com.
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Northshore Journal: 98 Outer Drive, Suite B, Silver Bay, MN 55614
(phone) 218-226-3335 (toll) 800-950-5793 (fax) 218-226-4537
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