Wise Giving Wednesday: Wise Giving on GivingTuesday
It may be hard to believe but GivingTuesday, the charity event which takes place on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving started ten years ago, in 2012. It evolved into a movement that has helped raise over $1 billion for online charitable giving around the globe and is now promoted by an organization devoted to this cause. To help donors in this spirit of generosity, which takes place on November 29th this year, BBB Wise Giving Alliance offers the following advice.
Check BBB’s Give.org before contributing. There will be many options and opportunities to donate on GivingTuesday, but our best suggestion is to find out more about a charity before you contribute. Charities can demonstrate they are trustworthy by agreeing to in-depth evaluations in relation to the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability. Get free access to charity reports by visiting Give.org to find out if an organization is BBB Accredited (i.e., meets all 20 BBB Charity Standards.)
Be cautious about name confusion. When charities seek support for the same cause, the names can sometimes appear similar. Before you give, be sure you have the exact name of the charity to avoid a case of mistaken identity.
Understand registration requirements. In the U.S., about 40 states require charities to register with a government agency, usually a division of either the Attorney General’s office or Secretary of State’s office. (In Canada, check with the Canada Revenue Agency.) Keep in mind that registration with a government agency does not mean the government approves, recommends, or endorses the charity.
Consider tax-exempt status. There are over 1 million organizations that have applied for and received charitable tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. In part, this means these groups are eligible to receive gifts that are deductible as charitable donations and will file an annual financial form with the IRS. It does not mean the Internal Revenue Service approves, recommends or endorses the charity. The following link provides access to IRS information on charities.
Watch out for overly emotional appeals. If an appeal brings tears to your eyes, make sure it is also clear about what the charity intends to do to address the issues. Visit the charities website for details about their program services.
Heart of Giving Podcast
This week’s Heart of Giving Podcast is part of our special series "Made by the Bay" sponsored by the Tipping Point Community to feature the activities of people in the San Francisco Bay Area working for the betterment of their community. This week, our guest is James Walker, Founder & President at Diogenes Community Solutions. Mr. Walker talks about a project that was conceptualized in the wake of George Floyd's death and committed to raising awareness of historical disparities, empowering disconnected communities, and driving strategies that break cycles of inequality.
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:
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.
About BBB Wise Giving Alliance: BBB Wise Giving Alliance (BBB’s Give.org) is a standards-based charity evaluator that seeks to verify the trustworthiness of nationally soliciting charities by completing rigorous evaluations based on 20 holistic standards that address charity governance, results reporting, finances, fundraising, appeal accuracy and other issues. National charity reports are produced by BBB’s Give.org and local charity reports are produced by local Better Business Bureaus – all reports are available at Give.org.