“Among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist.” -Edmund Burk

A place that shelters tenderly aged kids who rely merely upon charity and goodwill to endure their lives- this is the first thought process of anyone hears the term orphanage. While this idea of an orphanage is no wrong, the bigger picture is somehow unseen by the public and media as to by whom and what kinds of people are these orphanages run. With everything big and small being corrupted in the world today, orphanages are no exception when it comes to setting a playground for looting dollars after dollars by pretending to be an organization of a noble cause.

Noticing the rise in willingness to donate towards non-profit organizations, scammers/con-artists has found a new hobby of running fake orphanages for the benefits of the donations that come in bulk. Just back in April of 2017, multiple bogus orphanages situated in Cambodia were brought into the light of public notice for attracting voluntourists (volunteering tourists) to donate and volunteer for these not so real orphanages. It leaves us a question, how profitable are these non-profit organizations?

To avoid donating to any random pretentious orphanage or welfare organizations, it is important to be able to differentiate and spot fake orphanages from authentic ones.

Spotting Fake Orphanages

Is the Orphanage Transparent In Its Finances?

Any legitimate orphanage ensures that there is transparency in their accounts by showing in detail where the money has been invested. Be it education, food, clothing or renovation, the orphanages make a point to keep it obvious, whereas fake orphanages restrain their transparency and accountability as much as they possibly could by only weaving tales with words and no proof in substance.

Does the Orphanage Only Accept Monetary Donations?

If you find that a particular orphanage is only accepting donations in the form of money and rejecting clothes, food supplies, books, etc. by claiming that their needs can only be met with bucks. Or in some cases, the orphanages quite oppositely ask for large donations of food or supplies only to resell in the market. If that is the case, there is a highly likely chance that the orphanage is a fake one.

Can You Get Your Taxes Written Off For Donating Here?

Any proper orphanage that is registered under an NGO makes it a point to enable you with documents like receipts/bills of your donation that helps in writing off your taxes. If an orphanage doesn’t facilitate that, it’s only fair if you begin to suspect.

How Good Are Their Methods?

Having none or very little paperwork done, letting volunteers work for any random number of days,  letting tourists of any province volunteer and enroll at any point of time with no strict security protocols while giving the volunteers access to children without any background checks or providing support staff, is a strong sign of the orphanages’ false nature. Like transparency in accounts, transparency in functioning, management, decisions and day to day execution as well is questionable.

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that spotting recklessness is the best way to spot fake institutions. Below are a few tips on how to prevent fake orphanages/trusts.

Prevention Tips

  • Ask thoroughly regarding the orphanage’s background and its affiliations and tie-ups.
  • Request for ID proofs of the person in charge.
  • Ask for the orphanage’s certification or validation from trustable institutions like NGOs.
  • Look if the orphanage is listed and has been mentioned in the respective government’s website.
  • Look for reviews on the particular orphanage.
  • Keep tabs on their donation collecting techniques.
  • Inquire about the donation statistics and records of how the donations are put to use.
  • Evaluate the living standards of the children and compare to the donations received and perform basic math to see if they both correlate.
  • Trust your gut feeling immediately if you find the activities reflecting greed or uncertainty.

There are many scammers on the loose who feed off the emotions of common people. Stay vigilant not to let the corrupted frauds of the world target your emotions. Donation done right is good, donation done wrong is no less than investing unknowingly in a scam.

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