May 30, 2018

Wise Giving Wednesday: Summer Camps and Charity

As we leave spring and approach summer, schools are completing the academic year and many families look forward to sending children to one of a variety of summer camps that can address almost every sport, music, art or scientific interest. While many families cannot afford such opportunities, there are a number of “philanthropy camps” that might offer fresh air, instruction, field trips and games to needy youth. You may be solicited to help children have summer opportunities they would not otherwise access. 

If so, keep the following philanthropy camp tips in mind: 

  • Specialization: Philanthropy camps usually specialize in some way, whether it be helping children in poverty-stricken homes or catering to the needs of seriously ill children. Don’t assume what the camps do based on their names alone. Read the appeal carefully and look at the descriptive that appears on its website. 
  • Qualifications:  Find out about the qualifications and training of the camp’s staff. For example, if the camp is addressing the needs of children with diabetes or with learning disabilities, does the staff have appropriate backgrounds and training to handle such circumstances? Having good intentions alone does not provide sufficient background to manage such circumstances. Also, does the camp conduct criminal background checks on all of its personnel? 
  •  Licensing: States can vary in terms of what health and other regulations that children’s camps must follow. See if the camp’s materials indicate what licensing and permits they hold. 
  •  Trustworthiness: Check out Give.org or the BBB in your area to see if there is a current report on the charity camp that indicates if the charity meets the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability. Keep in mind that sometimes these camps are separate organizations devoted to providing this help for kids. In other cases, they might be a program of a larger cause that is addressing poverty, health or religious issues.

Video of the Week 

As part of our Building Trust Video Series, we are pleased to provide a video featuring Delaney Gracy, M.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Children’s Health Fund (a BBB Accredited Charity) which seeks to deliver health care to disadvantaged children. Among other things, it has a national network that operates in 17 states and the District of Columbia that help reach over 75,000 individuals each year.


Reports

We are always working with charities to publish or update reports for donors. Visit Give.org or local BBBs to check out any charity before giving. 

Finally, remember to let us know by going to https://www.give.org/ask-us-about-a-charity1/ if you are  interested in seeing a report on a charity not on the list and we will do our best to produce one.   

H. Art Taylor, President & CEO
BBB Wise Giving Alliance