Wise Giving Wednesday: Assisting Tropical Storm Hilary Recovery Efforts
Assisting Tropical Storm Hilary Recovery Efforts
As Southern California and Nevada recover from the impact of Tropical Storm Hilary and the resulting flooding and mudslides, many will seek to help those in need. BBB Wise Giving Alliance offers the following advice to help donors make informed giving decisions.
What relief activities are being funded?
Be cautious about vague appeals that don’t identify the intended use of funds. For example, is money being collected for food, clothing, temporary shelter, or other family needs? Also, unless told otherwise, donors will assume that funds collected immediately after a tragedy will be distributed or spent just as quickly.
Direct assistance or pass along?
Some charities may be raising money to pass along to relief organizations. If so, you may want to consider “avoiding the middleman” and giving directly to those that have a presence in the region. Or, at a minimum, check out the ultimate recipients of these donations to see whether they are equipped to provide aid effectively.
Are donations deductible?
Contributions that are donor-restricted to help a specific individual/family are not deductible in the U.S. as charitable donations, even if the recipient organization is a charity. See IRS Publication 526, page 7, for more information on this subject.
What about crowdfunding?
Please keep in mind that while some crowdfunding sites take precautions in carefully screening, vetting, and managing postings during a disaster, others might not. If unsure, review the posting procedures described on the crowdfunding site and find out about transaction fees and other specifics.
Does the charity meet BBB Standards?
The following organizations are BBB Accredited Charities (i.e., meet the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability) and currently announce on their websites that they are collecting funds to assist with California storm relief efforts. Additional BBB Accredited Charities will be added as we learn about flood assistance efforts.
Heart of Giving Podcast
In this week’s Heart of Giving Podcast, Art Taylor, President & CEO, BBB Wise Giving Alliance, shares his thoughts and advice on donating used clothing to charities.
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: