Wise Giving Wednesday: Donating to Honor Memorial Day
On May 31st, Memorial Day, we are reminded of those who gave their lives while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Some of us will seek to honor and respect those who gave the ultimate sacrifice by donating to charities that address a variety of issues and needs facing veterans, military service members and/or their families. BBB Wise Giving Alliance offers the following advice to help donors make wise giving decisions to such organizations:
- Watch Out for Name Confusion. Some veterans charities include the same words in different order or slightly different form. So, be alert and make sure the organization you are considering is the one you want to support.
- Identify What They Do. Don’t assume what the veterans organization does based on their name alone. Look for a clear description of the organization’s programs in its appeals and on its website.
- Be Cautious on Phone Appeals. If not managed properly, some telemarketing campaigns for veterans organizations can be an expensive way to raise funds with very little going to the organization. If called, do not hesitate to ask for written information or visit the group’s website to find out about its programs and finances before making a giving decision.
- Be Wary of Excessive Pressure. Don’t be pressured to make an immediate on-the-spot donation to a veterans organization. Charities will welcome your gift whenever you want to send it.
- Learn How Donated Items Will Be Used. Find out how the charity benefits from the collection and resale of used clothing and other in-kind gifts. Sometimes the charity receives only a small portion of the resale price of the item or may have a contractual arrangement to get a flat fee for every household pick-up, no matter what the contents.
- Check Outside Sources Before Giving: In addition to charity reports on BBB’s Give.org, check with your state government’s charity registration agency, usually a division of either the Attorney General’s office or Secretary of State’s office.
The following organizations meet all 20 of the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability (i.e., BBB Accredited Charities.) See the reports in the respective links.
America’s VetDogs – The Veteran’s K-9 Corps
Armed Services YMCA of the USA
Blinded Veterans Association
Blue Star Families
Boulder Crest Retreat Foundation
Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation
Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes Foundation
Code of Support Foundation
Corporate America Supports You
Disabled American Veterans
EOD Warrior Foundation
Green Beret Foundation
Homes for Our Troops
Honor Flight Network
K9s for Warriors
Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation
Military Spouse Corporate Career Network
Military with PTSD
National Military Family Association
Operation First Response
Puppy Jake Foundation
Team Red, White & Blue
Travis Manion Foundation\
Veterans of Foreign Wars National Home for Children
Wounded Warrior Project
Wounded Warrior Family Support
Video of the Week
As part of our Building Trust Video series, we are pleased to provide a video interview of David Barringer, CEO, National Council of the U.S. Society of St. Vincent de Paul (a BBB Accredited Charity) which seeks to help millions of people each year through home visits, housing assistance, disaster relief, job training, food pantries, clothing, care for the elderly, and other charitable activities.
Heart of Giving Podcast
This week’s podcast features an interview with Lisa Ratliff, CEO of KABOOM! (a BBB Accredited Charity) who discusses the important of equal access to safe play places for kids.
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. Our recently evaluated charities include:
Finally, remember to let us know by going to give.org/charity-inquiry 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