Wise Giving Wednesday: Six Questions to Ask About Tornado Relief

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calendar icon May 29, 2024

Six Questions to Ask About Tornado Relief

Over the Memorial Day weekend, tornadoes and heavy storms hit Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Kentucky leaving significant damage. As you look for ways to support relief efforts, BBB Wise Giving Alliance recommends that you consider the following questions.

  • Are the appeals clear?   Look for appeals that are clear about what disaster relief services or areas the charity is addressing.
  • Is the charity experienced in disaster relief?  Support experienced organizations that stand ready to provide quick and effective assistance. Be cautious of organizations that form overnight in the wake of a disaster.
  • Should you donate money or goods? Donating money is the quickest way to help and provides charities the flexibility to channel resources to impacted areas. Instead of donating food, consider supporting food banks near an impacted area. Visit Feeding America (a BBB Accredited Charity) which works with food banks across the country.
  • How can you verify the charity’s trustworthiness? When it comes to evaluating a charity, rely on expert opinion. We recommend giving to charities that meet all 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability, found at BBB’s Give.org.
  • What about crowdfunding requests? If engaging in crowdfunding, it is safest to give to someone you personally know and trust. Also review the platform’s policies and procedures, keeping in mind that while some crowdfunding sites take significant measures to vet posts, others don’t.
  • Is the donation tax deductible?  In the U.S., contributions to organizations that are tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code are deductible as charitable donations for those who itemize on their federal income tax. Keep in mind, however, that donor-restricted contributions to help a specific individual or family are generally not deductible, even if the recipient organization is a charity. For additional details, see page six of IRS Publication 526.

The following organizations are BBB Accredited Charities (i.e., meet the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability) are engaged in activities to assist tornado relief efforts. This list will be updated as additional efforts come to our attention.

American Red Cross

Salvation Army

Matthew 25: Ministries

Heart of Giving Podcast

This week’s Heart of Giving Podcast features NoirUnited International co-founders, Macire Airbot and Nassim Ashford, rejoin Art to provide an update on their efforts to assist African college students displaced by the war in Ukraine.

Recent 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. 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.

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