This time of year can and does bring out the best and the worst in human nature. Many people find joy in being able to help those less fortunate than themselves. Sadly, there are a large number of people who are quite ready, willing, and able to take advantage of that. Mailboxes are full of requests for donations from local and national charities. Phone solicitors are busy with the same kind of requests. So how do you go about protecting yourself from bogus charity groups without becoming a complete and total Scrooge? An excellent way is to know your non-profit. A common practice by many scammers now days is to give prospective donor victims a name that sounds like a well known and respected charity. Before you give to a group claiming to be a non-profit be sure to check them out. Many states have an outreach campaign to educate donors in the ways of “giving wisely”, offering videos, brochures, handouts, and checklist tablets for telephone solicitations. These resources are free and usually available on-line or can be mailed to your home or business. By all means give to those in need this holiday season, but remember, “give wisely”.