Give Wisely this East Texas Giving Day
East Texas Giving Day is an effort to raise funds and awareness for local nonprofits and takes place on Tuesday, April 26. And while according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, donation dollars increased by 2.7%, the number of donors decreased by 5.7%. Better Business Bureau serving Central East Texas (BBB) reminds donors to research charities and to make educated decisions before making donating decisions.
“As the number of donors seem to be trending down,” Mechele Agbayani Mills, President and CEO of BBB serving Central East Texas said. “It’s more important than ever to ensure your donations are going to legitimate organizations and your funds are used in the way which you intend.”
BBB encourages giving and provides the following tips from BBB Wise Giving Alliance when making donations any time of year:
Watch out for name similarities. When charities seek support for the same cause, their names are often similar. Before you give, be sure you have the exact name of the charity to avoid a case of mistaken identity.
Review the website carefully. A responsible charity will include the following facts on its website: its mission and programs, measurable goals, and concrete criteria that describe its achievements. You should also be able to find information on their finances. Keep in mind, the type of work a charity does will affect its costs.
Avoid on-the-spot donation decisions from unfamiliar organizations. Don’t succumb to pressure to make an immediate giving decision. Responsible organizations will welcome your gift tomorrow as much as they do today. Instead of making an impulse decision based on emotion, do some research first to verify that your selected charity operates ethically.
Check with state charity officials. In many states, charities are required to register with the office of the attorney general before soliciting. Checking your state’s appropriate office is an easy way to detect if an organization is legitimate or not. You can find this information on the National Association of State Charity Officials (NASCO) website.
Avoid charities that don’t disclose. Although participation is voluntary, charities that don’t disclose any of the requested information to BBB WGA raise a critical red flag for donors. Visit Give.org to find out if your selected charity is nondisclosure.
Rely on standards-based evaluations. Charities can demonstrate they are trustworthy by agreeing to in-depth evaluations such as the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability. Get free access to charity reports at Give.org.
Research tax status. Don’t assume every organization claiming to do good is a tax-exempt charity. You can check an organization’s tax status with the IRS Tax Exempt Organization Search tool. Also, make sure your contribution is tax deductible.
For More Information
For more tips on how to be a savvy consumer, go to bbb.org. To report fraudulent activity or unscrupulous business practices, call the BBB Hotline: 903-581-8373 or report it via BBB ScamTracker.
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