How to protect yourself against Charity Fraud this Christmas


This is the season of giving. At this time of year, no trip to the mall or the grocery store can be without the sound of the bells from the Salvation Army's bell ringers. Now is the time of year that most people are in the spirit of giving, both to their loved ones and to their favorite charities. Unfortunately, this is also the time of year that the unscrupulous ask us for donations to fake or questionable charities. Canadians are some of the most generous givers on the planet. According to statistics Canada, in 2007 Canadians donated more than $10 billion to registered charities. Unfortunately, the Canadian Revenue Agency has captured more than $2 billion in charity fraud since 2003. Fortunately, if you take a few simple precautions when someone come to your door asking for a donation you can avoid becoming a statistic.


  • Don't allow solicitors to pressure you. Most questionable fundraisers use high pressure tactics to make a donor give a donation before she has had a chance to think about it or do any research about the charity.
  • Find out the full name of the charity and if it is registered. Fraudulent charities will very often use a name that is very similar to a legitimate charity. In order to claim a tax deduction, be sure that the charity is registered. The Canada Customs and Revenues Agency (CRA) maintains a complete list of registered charities that you can find here.
  • Ask for written information about the charity which should include their name, address and telephone number. Don't be afraid to contact the charity to be sure that they are aware of the solicitation and to ask for a copy of their financial statements. Charities are required to make these available to the public and this will help you see how they spend their money and how much money that they collect actually goes to aid the charity in question.
  • If you do decide to make a donation, never pay by cash. Cash could be kept by the solicitor of the charity. Always make the cheque payable to the charity and not to the person collecting on behalf of the charity.
  • Make a note on you calendar of the date the donation was made. Be suspicious of solicitors calling to thank you for donations made in the past. Some of them try to trick you into thinking you made a donation and try to talk you into making another one. Always check your records before renewing your pledge.
  • Don't be afraid to ask a family member or friend before you make a donation. Try to make the most informed decision possible. 

By refusing to be pressured by solicitors and taking the time to research the charities you would like to donate to, you can avoid being a statistic and enjoy, to me, the most important aspect of Christmas. The spirit of giving. Have a safe and happy holiday.

Please watch the video below to learn more about donating to charities in Canada: 


Winter is Here


The weather took a turn for the worse here in Vancouver. We rarely experience snow in November, but this year we did. Here are a few articles to read while you stay home in the warmth.

  • Interesting article in The Economist on the changes to Japan's population. As shown in the above impressive graph, Japan's population is aging faster than any other country.
  • In the United States doctors are being trained to become a first line of defense to protect the elderly from becoming victims of scams. 
  • This must be some kind of a record for elder abuse. A 76 year old man in New York faces prison for stealing money from his 98 year old friend and business colleague. New York Post
  •  The future may be closer than we think. An international team of scientists is creating a robot to provide in home care for the elderly.
  • A new set of indicators to help nurses diagnose depression in Seniors living in Nursing Homes. Psychcentral

Lest we forget, November 11th is Remembrance Day this Thursday

Please take a moment this Thursday to remember those who sacrificed their lives so ours would be safe.

Also, read some of articles we twittered about this week:


Happy Halloween


Weekly round up of interesting articles:

 Sorry for the lack of posts last week. Doing this business of caring for Seniors, we know that we will be experiencing a loss of a client and nothing can prepare you for when it actually happens. Last week we actually experienced this with the loss of Mrs. H., who will be sorely missed. We'll miss our conversations with her every Tuesday and Thursday. 

We've added some extra posts this week. We've also tried something different and added some videos as well. Watch for more of these in the future.