BBB Tips to Ensure Wise Giving on Memorial Day
Arlington, VA – On Memorial Day, the holiday that seeks to pay tribute to those who gave their lives serving in the military, many of us will pay respects to those who died by responding to requests for donations by veterans and military-affiliated organizations. “As with any charity appeal, we urge donors to exercise caution and do some research before making a giving decision,” recommends H. Art Taylor, President and CEO, BBB Wise Giving Alliance, “Donation requests by veterans groups are high around the Memorial Day holiday.”
As potential donors respond to appeals from such organizations, the BBB Wise Giving Alliance offers the following advisory tips:
- Mistaken Identity: Watch out for name confusion. Many veterans charities include virtually the same words in different order or slightly different form.
- Clear Program Description: Look for a clear description of the organization’s programs in its appeals and on its website. If it says it is helping veterans, does it explain how (financial assistance, shelter, counseling) and where it is doing so?
- Telemarketing Cautions: Telemarketing can be a costly method of fundraising unless carefully managed. If called, do not hesitate to ask for written information on the charity’s programs and finances.
- On-the-Spot Donation Decisions: Be wary of excessive pressure in fundraising. Don’t be pressured to make an immediate on-the-spot donation. Charities should welcome your gift whenever you want to send it.
- Donating Used Clothing and Other Goods: 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 with Outside Sources Before Giving: Visit Give.org to check out a charity’s trustworthiness by verifying if it meets the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability. Also check with your state government’s charity registration agency, usually a division of the attorney general’s office.
ABOUT BBB WISE GIVING ALLIANCE
BBB Wise Giving Alliance (BBB WGA) is a standards-based charity evaluator that seeks to verify the trustworthiness of nationally-soliciting charities by completing rigorous evaluations based on 20 holistic standards that address charity governance, effectiveness reporting, finances, fundraising, appeal accuracy, and other issues. National charity reports are produced by the BBB WGA and local charity reports are produced by local Better Business Bureaus – all reports are available at Give.org.
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org.