On Giving Tuesday, Give Wisely

November 27, 2012

BBB Wise Giving Alliance Offers
Tips for Holiday Donations

Akron, OH – November 27, 2012 – Today is Giving Tuesday, “a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season” that was started by several major charities. BBB Wise Giving Alliance enthusiastically supports Giving Tuesday, with the caveat that donors and volunteers make sure the charities they support are well managed and make good use of their donations.

“Donors should do their homework and review charities online at akron.bbb.org/charity when they decide to support a local or national charity” stated Christy Page, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Ashland, Medina, Portage, Richland, Summit and Wayne Counties.  “The review will help donors understand the charity’s mission, their programs and how they spend their funds,” Page added.

BBB Wise Giving Alliance offers the following tips to donors:

1. Consider more than finances.
How much money a charity spends on the actual cause – as compared to how much goes toward fundraising and administration – is an important factor, but it’s not the whole story. A charity with impressive financial ratios could have other significant problems such as insufficient transparency, inadequate board activity and inaccurate appeals.

2. Research before you give.
Even good friends may not have fully researched the charities they endorse, so don’t just take their word for it. Expertise is available. Go to akron.bbb.org/charity to see if a local charity meets the BBB’s 20 Standards for Charity Accountability. Also visit give.org for information on national charities.

3. Be wary of high-pressure, emotional pitches.
Giving on the spot is never necessary, no matter how hard a telemarketer or door-to-door solicitor pushes it. The charity that needs your money today will welcome it just as much tomorrow.

4. Verify donated items are needed.
Worn out, unusable or unwanted donated goods cost charities millions of dollars each year because the organization has to bear the cost of tossing the unacceptable donation. If you have questions about an item’s acceptability, call the charity and ask.

5. Confirm the charity’s identity.
With so many charities in existence, their names can blur in a donor’s mind and similar-sounding organizations are common. Be sure you know which charity you are supporting and that it’s not a case of mistaken identity.

BBB Wise Giving Alliance also has suggestions for businesses that engage in cause-related marketing promotions that announce a consumer purchase will help a charity. The business should be sure to (a) have a written agreement with the charity that authorized this use, and (b) disclose in promotions the actual or anticipated amount of the consumer purchase that will benefit the charity.

If the BBB does not have a report on a charity that you are considering, please feel free to request the BBB to contact the charity to initiate an evaluation. The BBB is committed to helping charities succeed and encouraging donors to give, but give wisely. Visit www.akron.bbb.org for more holiday giving tips.