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Charity Checklist

<strong><span id="prvw_desc">Before giving this holiday season, check out the charities you are donating to.</span></strong>
WASHINGTON D.C. -- Nancy Wyne of Silver Spring, Maryland considers herself and her husband charitable people, not rich.

"We do give to six, seven, eight charities or something and then through the church," said Wyne.

The problem?

Charities continuously solicit the Wynes throughout the year with multiple mailings often arriving at the same time.

So how do people end up with so many different appeals?

"If you give little amounts to a lot of different charities that's how you get on numerous mailing lists," said Bennett Weirner of the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance.

The BBB Wise Giving Alliance puts charities up against its accountability standards.

You can check out a charity's report on the BBB's website.

It includes ways a charity spends its money.

The BBB says 54 percent of the charities it checks out meet its accountability standards.

The BBB warns to be wary of charities that spring up overnight often in connection with current events or natural disasters.

Also, watch out for similar sounding names because phony charities will use a name that sounds just like a legitimate one, and beware of promises or guaranteed sweepstakes winnings in exchange for a contribution.
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