BBB Asks Donors to Honor Independence Day by Helping Advocacy Charities
July 03, 2014

BBB Wise Giving Alliance Urges Donors to Actively Show Support for Advocacy Charities that Meet its Rigorous Standards

As Americans celebrate Independence Day, Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance is calling for donors to show their support for charities that fight for a variety of causes.  “As we gather to cheer America’s birthday,” notes H. Art Taylor, President & CEO of BBB Wise Giving Alliance, “we should also applaud and assist those charities that conduct advocacy.”

“The freedom of choice, to support the causes we care about, reminds us of the spirit of the July 4th holiday.   But whether the charity advocates for issues related to civil rights, immigration, the environment, animal welfare, health care, veterans,  military service members or other issues,” Taylor cautions donors to, “verify if the charity meets the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability by visiting give.org.”

 “Donor trust is essential for helping to maintain a vibrant and independent charitable community,” said Warren Clark, President of Better Business Bureau serving Upstate New York. “We believe charities that seek to meet our rigorous standards understand the significant role that trust plays in successful fundraising.”

To help donors support advocacy charities during Independence Day and throughout the year, BBB offers the following tips:

More than a charity name. Don’t assume the nature of the advocacy charity’s programs based solely on its name. Review the organization’s website to better understand its positions and activities.

Be wary of overly emotional appeals.  Watch out for charity appeals that seek to stir your passions for an advocacy issue but don’t tell you what the charity is specifically doing to address the matter. 

Many voices for each cause. For any advocacy issue, there are a variety of charities that want to address the matter in their own way. The charity soliciting you is not the only option to consider. Many charities that carry out program services such as health care research, education and veteran’s assistance are also engaged in advocacy activities related to their mission.

Accountability is more than finances. BBB Wise Giving Alliance reminds donors that its broad standards address many other aspects of accountability such as governance, effectiveness reporting, appeal accuracy, website disclosures, donor privacy and other matters.

Deductibility verification. Don’t assume that all advocacy organizations are tax exempt as charities. If deductibility is important to you, see if the advocacy appeal references whether the organization is tax exempt as a charity under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.