Wise Giving Wednesday: Update on Ukraine Charity Relief

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calendar icon Mar 02, 2022

Wise Giving Wednesday: Update on Ukraine Charity Relief

Last week’s Wise Giving Wednesday provided tips on donating to assist Ukraine relief efforts. As the circumstances are changing daily in Ukraine, BBB Wise Giving Alliance thought it would be helpful to add some additional information to help you make informed giving decisions about helping people in need in this area.

  • Charities that meet BBB standards. As of today, our list of BBB Accredited Charities (i.e., groups that meet all 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability) engaged in Ukraine relief issues has expanded to twenty (20) organizations and we will include others as we learn about their efforts.
  • Variety of relief activities. Keep in mind that relief charities can be involved in a variety of different efforts (food distribution, shelter, medical care, etc.). See if the charity’s website provides a description of their planned efforts, if not ask for clarification. Don’t assume what they do based on their name alone.
  • Refugee destinations. The UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, reports that over half a million people have left Ukraine to neighboring countries such as Poland, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, and Slovakia. As more refugees are on the way, donors might also consider charities engaged in assisting refugees located in those specific countries.
  • Deducting donations. Relief charities that are based in the U.S. are eligible to receive contributions that are deductible as charitable as charitable donations for federal income tax purposes. In general, donations to foreign-based charities entities, such as those created and established in Ukraine, are not deductible. In addition, it is difficult to check out foreign-based organizations.
  • Potential scams. While our experience in reporting on appeals for emergency situations shows it can be difficult to identify when scams occur, we believe our giving tips help potential donors spot red flags to help them avoid questionable situations. The greatest risk is taken when a contributor seeks no verification before a donation is made.
  • Social media cautions. Social media such as Facebook and others help spread the word about assisting people in need in Ukraine. It can sometimes be difficult to verify the authenticity of these posts. If you see a post that also includes a link to donate, BBB WGA recommends donors instead go directly to the charity’s website on their own to make a contribution. Also, don’t assume the recommended charities have been vetted.

BBB Wise Giving Alliance is committed to continuing to monitor Ukraine-related charity relief and will post other advice that comes to our attention.

Video of the Week

As part of our Building Trust Video Series, we are pleased to revisit a video featuring an interview with Kelly Waters, Executive Director, Virginia Hemophilia Foundation (a BBB Accredited Charity) which provides education, advocacy and community support for individuals impacted by inherited bleeding disorders. Educational opportunities offered by the organization include an annual education meeting, information delivered via VHF's Facts N' Factors newsletter and social media outlets, and scholarship opportunities. VHF participates in national and federal advocacy initiatives, such as the VHF's "Richmond Days" and the National Hemophilia Foundation’s "Washington Days."

Heart of Giving Podcast

In this week’s Heart of Giving Podcast, BBB WGA’s President and CEO, Art Taylor, interviews Victor Valentine, the CEO of the National Human Services Assembly. The discussion addresses nonprofit infrastructure organizations that provide collective leadership to shape national human service strategies and contribute to the success of the charitable sector.

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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