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These are more flexible and cause less of a strain on the charity, allowing them to help more, the CIDI explained.

Again, it's sad that those who want to help others need to be careful.

If you're looking for a way to give, be cautious of charity scams. The American Red Cross is an example of a charitable organization that has immediate impact. After Hurricane Sandy, one scam charity raised $600,000 for storm victims, but that money went to its own pockets. As the BBB points out, unless an organization already has staff in an area, it can be hard to bring in rescue workers quickly to offer assistance.

The outpouring of Harvey relief aid from individuals, local agencies and humanitarian groups reflects America at its best. "They might have been taken off of another website". Decide what you'd like your funds to help accomplish.

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Be wary of certain promises and tactics. Hackers are also using social media platforms in attempts to solicit charitable donations for flood victims, including creating fake Facebook and Twitter pages dedicated to victim relief containing links to spam websites or malware, as CNET reported.

But unlike public charities that are required to disclose their finances annually with the Internal Revenue Service, someone who runs a crowdfunding campaign isn't required to disclose how they use the raised funds, says Mr. Borochoff. Never give out credit card numbers over the phone. United Mileage Plus members who donate $50 to$99 will receive 250 award miles; $100 to $249 will receive 500 bonus miles and members who donate $250 or more will receive 1,000 bonus miles. Do not assume a charity is legitimate based on its name.

"Too often, well-meaning people send clothing, diapers and other items to disaster stricken areas, but their donations end up unused or even discarded", said Angee Morgan, deputy director of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management.

At this point, Greg Micklos will need more than two men and a truck to get everything collected to Houston. While you may be eager to help people in need, take the time to make sure your donation will really help, not just line the pockets of a crook. These sites may mimic the sites of legitimate charities, or claim to be affiliated with legitimate charities, in order to persuade people to provide personal information which can then be used to steal identities or financial resources.