Tennessee State Seal
Make Charitable Donations Count by Being a Savvy Giver
(Published: December 4, 2013)

Note: This column by Secretary of State Tre Hargett originally appeared in the Knoxville News-Sentinel on November 28, 2013.

As we enter the holiday season, many of us are making plans to purchase gifts for family members and other loved ones. And when we do, we are surely hoping that our gifts will be meaningful to the people who receive them – not just tokens that end up in the trash or the back of a closet somewhere.

The same type of thinking should apply to the charitable contributions we make. This time of year, many people feel moved to give money to various causes. And when they do, they have hopes that their donations will be used to help make the world a better place.

That’s usually the case, but not always. Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous people out there who try to take advantage of the kindness and generosity of charitable givers.

Fortunately, there are steps we can take to reduce the likelihood ou