Do A Little Research Before Donating

As we approach Memorial Day many people will be asked to donate money to veteran’s organization. But before reaching for your wallet, BBB® recommends carefully checking out those to whom you intend to donate money. BBB has found some groups soliciting for donations are private, for-profit solicitors who end up keeping most of the money.

In far too many cases, the charitable organization ends up with some money while the professional fundraiser lines his or her pockets with your contribution. If you want to have the biggest impact for a particular veteran’s organization, BBB recommends donating directly to the charity and not going through a professional fundraiser. That way the charity gets to keep all the money.

If you aren’t sure you are really giving to the actual charity, here are a few tips:

  • Ask Questions. Charities with nothing to hide are willing to answer your questions.
  • Do Your Homework. If you’re being solicited by phone, ask the charity to send you written information. Tell them your policy is to not make donations without reviewing the material.
  • Do Not Give Cash. Make your contributions by check to the actual charity not to the collector.

But, even before you give, make sure the charity meets BBB charitable giving standards. The Center for Ethics at BBB invites more than 860 charities to seek BBB Accreditation each year. As part of the accreditation process, BBB issues comprehensive reports on charities, allowing donors to access information about a charity’s governance, programs, finances and BBB’s determinations whether a charity meets its Standards. This is important information for donors to consider when looking at charities to support.

Start with Trust and make sure you’re giving wisely. Visit to check out the charity.

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About Howard Ain

Howard Ain has been reporting consumer news on Cincinnati television for the past 38 years. He also writes a newspaper column alerting readers to consumer scams. He now joins BBB|Cincinnati as a correspondent.