How to anonymously give money - Printable Version

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How to anonymously give money - it-man - 08-10-2015

There are many reasons why you might want to give anonymously. Some people are too proud to accept help from people they know. You might want to protect your own privacy. Giving anonymously avoids any pride on your part and expecting thanks from the person receiving the gift. 

If you are mailing your anonymous gift, the post mark of where it was mailed can give the recipient a clue where the gift came from. To get around this problem, there are some companies that offer anonymous mail services. A couple of them are: http://remailing.us and http://rapidremailer.com/. There may be other services like this as well. I don't have any personal experience with this service, so do your own due diligence investigation before using these services. 

If you are mailing the gift, you can make the source somewhat anonymous by leaving the return address blank on the envelop. First class US mail does not require a return address. As an alternative, you can put the recipients address as the return address. 

If you are going to do a lot of anonymous giving via the mail, you might consider getting a PO box or private mail box and use it as the return address. On the return address, DO NOT put your name. One reason you might want to use this idea is in case the person you send the money refuses the gift. In this way, they can return it to the sender without knowing who sent the money. 

Here are some suggested approaches on how you can give money to people anonymously.

Create an alter-ego email address and give through PayPal. This may sound strange, but most online sites only require a valid email address and proper bank information (account number or card number). By using an email address not tied to your name, you fulfill those requirements while remaining anonymous to the person receiving the money. You might just create a Gmail account with the name that is not tied to you, then send the money through PayPal.

Use a money transfer services. The most well known service is WesternUnion.com, but there are others, like Xoom.com. Each of these services allows you to transfer money to someone anonymously. The best way to do this is to simply transfer the money directly to the other person’s account. You can have money ready to be picked up or sent to their address, too, but this might tip the person off if you are close.

Have a third party deliver cash. Obviously, this needs to be someone who is trusted, but you can simply ask someone you trust to give someone money on your behalf. This is hard to do without being “found out,” but if you choose someone the other person or company does not really know, it can work. And, of course, you want to send cash (or a gift card). 

Pay for a stranger. There are lots of ways you can pay for something for another person you don't know. Here are some examples. You could be in a restaurant and tell your waiter or waitress that you want to anonymously pay for the meal of someone you see in the restaurant. If you are in the drive-through for a fast food restaurant, you could give the cashier $100 and say you want to cover the meals for the next several people. You can be in the line at the grocery store and give the cashier say $500 extra to pay for the groceries of the next few people in line.  You could go to a store where you shop and make arrangements with the lay-away department to pay off the purchases of several random strangers. The ideas on how to do this are limitless as your imagination. 

Form or join an anonymous giving group. Several people can pool money together to give to others in their community. Either join an existing group or form one of your own. If you want to give to someone specifically, have someone else in the giving group handle sending the gift. The giving group may want to get a private mail box or PO Box and open a bank account to make the giving easier. Those sending money for the group can tell the recipients that the group's policy is not to reveal who gave the gift. 

Send a cashier's check. In order to be anonymous, the cashier's check should not have the remitter's name on it and some banks do this for you. Have the bank make out the check in the name of the person receiving the funds. Mail the check in an envelope without a return address on it or a return address to a PO box or private mail box. Cashier's checks can be made out for almost any amount.

Send a money order. In order to be anonymous, the cashier's check should not have the remitter's name on it and some banks do this for you. Fill in the name of person to receive the funds in the payee field. Mail the check in an envelope without a return address on it or a return address to a PO box or private mail box. Money orders are usually $1000 or less. 

Send a pre-paid credit card. You can buy a pre-loaded credit card and mail it to the person. Be sure to include a note telling how much money is on the card. Mail the check in an envelope without a return address on it.  One disadvantage to this approach is that it is just like sending cash which means that anyone who has the card can use it or a return address to a PO box or private mail box.  

This list of ideas is not meant to be exhaustive. Feel free to post your own suggestions on this treat.