Capital One Canada and CanadaHelps are pleased to announce that Lianna Walden is the $20,000 grand prize winner of the 2011 Charity Fraud Awareness Quiz. Courtesy of Capital One, Lianna is donating her winnings to the Vancouver Fringe Festival. The Charity Fraud Awareness Quiz was part of an awareness initiative to educate the public about charity fraud during Fraud Prevention Month.
When asked why Walden chose the Fringe, she responded, “The Fringe Festival has played a major role in nurturing Canadian theatre, culture, freedom of expression and the expansion of creativity. The Fringe Festival continues to offer a place for artists (of any means or age) to exhibit unjuried work and a place for the public to view it. Running from the east to west coast of Canada, The Fringe Festival is one of the most unique exhibitions of artistry in any country.”
The Vancouver International Fringe Festival, produced annually by the First Vancouver Theatrespace Society, is BC’s largest theatre festival and connects emerging and established theatre artists with audiences. This year’s Fringe Festival will feature over 700 performances by more than 90 groups over 11 days, and is expected to attract over 30,000 attendees. The Vancouver Fringe Festival was voted Vancouver’s Best Arts Festival for five years in a row by Georgia Straight readers.
“Although most of the people we encouraged to participate in the Charity Fraud Awareness Quiz were motivated by trying to help us win, I think everybody learned something new. I know I did,” explained David Jordan, the Fringe’s Executive Director. “Because we are so dedicated to helping emerging artists, we are usually focused on the nuts and bolts of festival preparation. As a small organization with a small staff that puts on a very big festival, it is very helpful to be a part of a larger not for profit community that can draw our awareness to essential aspects of our business like fraud prevention. Fraud in the charitable sector hurts the communities we are meant to serve.”
For the month of March, Capital One and CanadaHelps launched an on-line Charity Fraud Awareness Quiz to inform Canadians about the risk of charity fraud and how to prevent it. Every participant that completed the quiz was eligible to enter a draw to win a $20,000 grand prize donation, or one of $1,000 weekly donations from Capital One. The prize money is then given to the winner’s charity of choice. The Charity Fraud Awareness Quiz closed on March 31, 2011.
To protect yourself from becoming a victim of charity fraud, Capital One and CanadaHelps offer the following tips:
- Make sure the charity is registered with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and provides you with their charitable registration number. CanadaHelps.org only lists charities registered with the CRA.
- Ask to see a charity’s financial statements. These should be readily available to anyone who asks and give you a sense of how the charity spends their money.
- Understand the impact the charity has and what difference they make in the community. Charities should be able to give you clear outcomes of the programs or services they provide.
- Research the causes you want to support and how much of your budget you want to donate to charity. You will feel less pressured to give when solicited if you have already planned your giving.
- Avoid any charity that pressures you into making a donation or isn’t open to sharing more information about their organization.