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Charitable Giving: When Doing Good Goes Bad

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We’re approaching the time of year when people tend to be most generous. But how do you know that your desire to help … is really helping? That your giving is actually doing good and not harm?

Tuesday we take a look at how the best of intentions can sometimes backfire, and how to make sure that doesn’t happen to you.

Host Brian Ellison speaks with a reporter who investigates what can go wrong with charitable giving and with an expert from a local foundation that specializes in getting donations to reputable organizations. Learn how to check out that worthy cause to be sure it’s worthy of your dollars.


  • Amy Costello, host and producer of the podcast Tiny Spark. She has been a producer and reporter for various public radio and television programs, including five years as Africa reporter for PRI's The World.
  • Denise St. Omer, Vice-President of Community Investment at the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation.


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As a host and contributor at KCUR, I seek to create a more informed citizenry and richer community. I want to enlighten and inspire our audience by delivering the information they need with accuracy and urgency, clarifying what’s complicated and teasing out the complexities of what seems simple. I work to craft conversations that reveal realities in our midst and model civil discourse in a divided world. Follow me on Twitter @ptsbrian or email me at brian@kcur.org.
As senior producer of Up To Date, I want our listeners to hear familiar and new voices that shine light on the issues and challenges facing the myriad communities KCUR serves, and to expose our audiences to the wonderful and the creative in the Kansas City area. Just as important to me is an obligation to mentor the next generation of producers to ensure that the important conversations continue. Reach me at alexanderdk@kcur.org.