BBB Tips on Donating by Text Message

October 29, 2012
In the days ahead, many good people may want to donate via text to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy.   “It’s encouraging that people would want to make small donations through text messages,” said Fred T. Elsberry, Jr., President & CEO of the BBB Serving Metro Atlanta, Athens & Northeast Georgia.

If current predictions for the storm’s damage are correct, then an incredible amount of money will be needed to help victims of this “Perfect Storm.”  However, donors should still do their due diligence to make sure their money is going to trustworthy charities.

BBB Wise Giving Alliance offers the following tips on giving through text messages:

• Confirm the number directly with the source. While BBB Wise Giving Alliance has not yet heard of any scams relying on text message donations, this emerging method for donating is ripe for exploitation by scammers.

• Be aware that text donations are not immediate.  Depending on the text message service used by the charity, text donations can take anywhere from 30-90 days to be transferred to the designated charity. If you would like the donation to be received immediately by the charity, you can give online through the charity Web site, by calling the charity directly or by sending a check in the mail.

• Review the fine print.  When you give to a charity through text message, you might also be signing yourself up to receive text message updates from the charity in the future. A charity should include the details of its text campaign on its Web site so you can see what you’re signing up for and how you can opt out.

• Research the charity. Giving wisely to a charity isn’t just about making sure that the solicitation isn’t coming from scammers. Wise donors make sure their donations are going to charities that are best equipped to help in the relief efforts and will responsibly use the money for its intended purpose.

To check out a charity please visit