Charities Raise Millions For Boston Bombing Victims - How To Donate Safely Online

In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing on Monday, charities have been raising money for the victims. Through One Fund and crowdfunding, more than $12 million has been raised for victims.

Crowdfunding charity sites, such as GoFundMe or GiveForward, have made it easy for individuals to contribute directly to the individuals and families affected by the Boston bombing.

GoFundMe has donation pages for 25 different families, while pages include runners donating the funds raised to the One Fund. Some families, such as the fund for Jeff Bauman or the Celeste and Sydney Corcoran Page, have raised more than $500,000 in the seven days since the bombing. In total, more than $1.5 million has been raised through GoFundMe.

GiveForward also has a similar outpouring of support as the crowdfunded charity site has helped raised more than $800,000 for 15 affected families. The charity pages not only provide an easy-to-navigate interface that lets donors contribute to victims; it also provides a space where the families and victims can share their stories, provide updates and connect with those contributing to recovery funds.

Other crowdfunding efforts, such as the “Stay Strong Boston” T-shirt campaign, created by Teespring, also contributes to the One Fund charity set up by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino.

Being the most recognized charity, One Fund has raised more than $10 million. Efforts such as the one by Teespring and other fundraising efforts have led to millions of dollars being contributed to victims. Companies, individuals, philanthropists and local business have all contributed to the One Fund as many victims remain hospitalized while other victims are facing thousands of dollars in medical expenses or lost wages.

John Hancock Life Insurance, which is headquartered in Boston, Mass., donated $1 million to One Fund. Other individuals and organizations have donated their time to streamline the donation process associated with One Fund. And as Mayor Menino remarks, “We are one Boston. We are one community. As always, we will come together to help those most in need. And in the end, we will all be better for it.”

If individuals want to donate, be wary of organizations claiming to be charities and to make sure any organization is credible before funding the project. The Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, has issued an alert to individuals wanting to donate. The FTC alert offers tips and other resources that will let donors choose a legitimate charity organization.

Mashable has a list of recognized charities, as well as sites to check out if a charity organization is reputable, while NBC News notes some crowdfunding charity sites, including GoFundMe and GiveForward, do take out fees from the money raised, while other sites, such as YouCaring, do not. GoFundMe, YouCaring and GiveForward all vet the donation pages, and any objections or concerns raised by donors leads to an immediate suspension of the campaign while the site investigates the claims.

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