Want to donate to Notre Dame rebuilding? BBB says wait for now

Nearly $1 billion has already been pledged for the rebuilding of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris after this week’s disastrous fire. While most of the money will come from large corporations and French billionaires, the Better Business Bureau is advising individuals in the U.S. who want to contribute to wait.

It warns not only of a likely wave of scammers, but of tax deduction ramifications.

Arlington, Virginia-based BBB warns individuals to make sure donations are going to an official Notre Dame rebuilding fund.

“Scammers are opportunists, and they will take advantage of whatever is in the news,” said Art Taylor, president and CEO of BBB Wise Giving Alliance.

“We expect to see Notre Dame fundraising appeals on social media and crowdfunding sites. Some will be from well-intentioned people who are not directly involved with the cathedral, but some may be from scammers.”

BBB urges individuals to wait until official rebuilding funds are established.

BBB also said donations are more likely to be tax-deductible if the donations are made through a charity based in the U.S., and if the charity is an officially-established nonprofit. That may not be the case when donating through individual crowdfunding sites or foreign entities.

“The rebuilding will take some time,” Taylor said. “It is best to wait until we have more details about which official entities are raising funds to assist the rebuilding.

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