Wise Giving Wednesday: Preparing for Hurricane Florence Disaster Relief Giving

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calendar icon Jul 17, 2020

Tuesday morning, a snip from of an interview I did appeared as part of a story that aired on ABC’s Good Morning America: Woman Allegedly Used Social Media to Solicit Donations for Fake Firefighter Husband. The news story reports that an individual allegedly claimed to be married to a firefighter battling the California wildfires and used Facebook to solicit for firefighter supplies such as air mattresses, blankets and food. Reportedly, these items were not provided to firefighters but were sold online. As noted in my clip, while one can vet charities, it is difficult to vet individuals.

Many on the southeast coast are evacuating or preparing for Hurricane Florence which is projected to be one of the worst storms to hit that area in decades. While this reminds us how vulnerable we can be to a devastating storm, as donors we also need to be reminded how vulnerable we can be to relief appeals that seek to take advantage of our generosity. To help avoid being taken, here are three steps to consider:

  1. Review Give.org’s Disaster Relief Donation Tips (here is a link to the Spanish version) to help identify potential problems and direct your gifts to assist those truly in need.
  2. Contribute to charities that have experience in disaster relief and are positioned to help impacted areas. Visit Give.org to verify if the charity meets the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability.
  3. If you desire to help those asking for personal assistance on social media to address hurricane relief needs, it is safest to donate to individuals that you already know. Also remember that gifts to help a specific person are generally not deductible as charitable donations for federal income tax purposes.

After Hurricane Florence hits, we will post a list of disaster relief charities that meet BBB Charity Standards that are soliciting for relief efforts.  

Video of the Week

As part of our Building Trust Video Series, we are pleased to provide a video of Laurel Lyle, Vice President, Development, Operations and Fundraising Programs at Cure Alzheimer’s Fund (a BBB Accredited Charity) that seeks to accelerate research and focus exclusively on finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. In 2016, the organization supported 56 research projects at 32 research institutions for a funding total of more than $13 million. The majority of projects pursued a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of action of the genes and variants with the biggest impact on risk and timing of Alzheimer's disease. 

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.  

H. Art Taylor, President & CEO
BBB Wise Giving Alliance

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