Wise Giving Wednesday: Handling Complaints About Charities

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calendar icon Jul 17, 2020

Most of the activity on the Give.org website comes from individuals seeking to verify a charity’s trustworthiness before they make a donation. This is accomplished by reviewing our reports to see if the subject nationally soliciting charity meets the 20 holistic BBB Standards for Charity Accountability . In turn, 57 of the 113 Better Business Bureaus report on regionally soliciting charities. 

While such inquiries comprise the vast majority of our charity activity, from time to time, charities can be the subject of public complaint. For national charities, the most common type of complaint consists of individuals seeking to be removed from the mailing list of a charity.  At  the regional level, complaints can range from concerns with a purchase at a charity thrift store to concerns raised about a pet adopted from an animal shelter.  Whatever the cause, our procedure is to forward the complaint to the subject charity and ask that they respond to the individual with a copy to either BBB WGA (or the applicable BBB). 

For complaints about national charities, the following form can be completed online: https://give.org/ask-us-about-a-charity/.  Complaints about regionally soliciting charities can be initiated by completing the following form for local complaints: https://www.bbb.org/consumer-complaints/file-a-complaint/get-started 

In addition, Standard 20 of the BBB Charity Standards calls for charities to promptly respond to and act on complaints brought to their attention by the BBB WGA and/or Better Business Bureaus. 

As part of our Building Trust Video Series, we are pleased to provide the following video that features Kelly Browning, Chief Executive Officer of American Institute for Cancer Research (a BBB Accredited Charity) which funds research on the relationship of nutrition, physical activity and weight management to cancer risk as well as to interpret scientific data and to educate people about reducing their cancer risk.  

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  https://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

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