Celebrate National Dress in Blue Day this Friday, March 1, 2013 by donning your blue! National Dress in Blue Day has been celebrated on the first Friday in March since 2009 in hopes of bringing attention to National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. By “going blue” individuals, businesses, and charities in the community hope to raise public awareness about colon cancer and celebrate the courage of those affected by the disease. Many of us want to do our part to stop this disease, such as donating toward this cause, but it can also be an opportune time for charity scammers to take advantage of unsuspecting donors. Before you make a donation, BBB urges donors to proceed with caution. When evaluating any charity, The Center for Ethics at BBB recommends these quick tips.
1. Don’t be fooled by names that look impressive or that closely resemble the names of well-known organizations. Ask telemarketers for specific contact information for the charity, and research the organization to ensure it’s the one whose mission you want to support. Legitimate organizations will welcome your request for clarification and provide as much information as possible to help you with your decision.
2. Resist demands for on-the-spot donations. This high-pressure tactic is designed to induce you to give without fully researching the organization or asking too many questions. Legitimate organizations will accept your donation anytime.
3. Beware of solicitations from charities that are ill-equipped to carry out their plans. Ask the organization to mail you a copy of its most recent annual report; then check the charity’s accomplishments during the past year. Ask yourself if the charity’s most recent solicitation jives with what it says it accomplished.
4. Watch out for charities that claim 100% of your contribution will benefit programs. Administrative and fundraising expenses are a necessary part of operating charities. It is a red flag when charities make the 100% claim. BBB recommends charities spend no more than 35% of related contributions on fundraising expenses.
5. Check out charities with BBB. BBB accredits charities according to the highest ethical standards for the industry. Our Charity Reviews can help you decide whether a charity will spend your money wisely.
For additional tips on giving, visit BBB.