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Buyer Beware – WDC asks you to make sure your shopping is really supporting your cause

Cause-related marketing can be a win/win situation for both commercial retailers and charitable organizations when a reputable for-profit business agrees to give a percentage of its sales to a registered charity. For example, WDC recently partnered with West Marine, a boating supply and fishing retailer, and 10% of your purchase from West Marine can benefit WDC’s efforts to protect whales and dolphins at no additional charge to you. You get the dive gear or boat supplies you’ve always wanted and help save whales at the same time – a win/win situation. 

However, not all retailers are reputable and many prey on the compassion of their consumers with false promises of charitable donations from product purchases. Sadly, dolphin lovers have recently been targeted by an online retailer claiming to provide proceeds from its dolphin t-shirts and bracelets to WDC and other marine conservation organizations. We have asked the supposed retailer to remove any reference to WDC and are asking you to make sure your shopping is really supporting your cause.

Some things to consider before making a purchase- 

  1. Has the charity posted its affiliation with the retailer on its website or social media channels?
  2. Have you checked with the charity to verify that it has received donations from the retailer?
  3. Does the website provide contact information, including a physical address and telephone number?
  4. Is there a clear return policy and directions on the retailer’s website?
  5. Does the Paypal link take you to Paypal?
  6. Is there a privacy and terms and conditions statement on the retailer’s website?

WDC strives to be transparent and responsible with the donations we receive.  We have made our financial statements and program work areas available to Guidestar for evaluation and public review and are proud to havea Gold level profile.   We thank all of those that support our work through direct donations or purchases through WDC-approved cause marketing relationships. However, we not only want to make sure whales and dolphins are safe from the threats they face, we also want our supporters to be safe from fraudulent retailers. If you have questions about whether a retailer is actually affiliated with and donating to WDC, please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected] or call our office at 1-888-MY WHALE.

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