Better Business Bureau® Serving Northern Colorado and Wyoming advises residents and businesses to be smart when making donations to help those affected by floods in Northern Colorado.
“All of us are eager to help our neighbors who have been impacted by the floods, but it’s important that we be mindful of what type of donations are most needed,” said Pam King, president/CEO of BBB Serving Northern Colorado and Wyoming.
“Although your neighbor, friend from church or social media connection probably has great intentions,” she added, “donations are most effective when processed by an organization with experience in handling and distributing to those in need.”
BBB offers the following guidelines for giving:
Gifts of clothing, food or other in-kind donations – while well-intentioned – may not necessarily be the quickest way to help those in need unless the organization has the staff and infrastructure to properly distribute such aid. Ask the charity about its transportation and distribution plans, and find out what is the greatest need.
Find out if the charity has an on-the-ground presence in the impacted areas.
See if the charity’s website clearly describes what it’s doing to address immediate needs. Watch out for charities that don’t already have staff in affected areas as they may not be able to provide assistance quickly.
Find out if the charity provides direct aid or is raising money for other groups. If the latter, avoid the middleman and give directly to the charity.
Be cautious of spam messages and emails that claim to link to a relief organization. If you want to give to a charitable organization involved in relief efforts, go directly to the charity’s website.
Be careful relying on third-party recommendations from bloggers or websites. Instead, go to BBB Wise Giving Alliance to research national charities and relief organizations to verify the charity is accredited by BBB and meets the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability.
Be wary of claims that 100 percent of donations will assist relief victims. Despite what an organization might claim, charities have fundraising and administrative costs. Even a credit card donation involves, at a minimum, a processing fee.
Start With Trust. For more consumer tips and information, visit wynco.bbb.org.