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BBB: How to 'give wisely' on GivingTuesday

A diagnostic medical imaging services company based has agreed to pay $3,000,000 to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services./ Source: MGN
A diagnostic medical imaging services company based has agreed to pay $3,000,000 to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services./ Source: MGN(WVLT)
Published: May. 5, 2020 at 4:42 PM CDT
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Many people are donating to charities Tuesday, as part of a GivingTuesday campaign that is encouraging donations to charities or to those in need during the coronavirus pandemic.

The campaign is similar to the GivingTuesday campaign that gains worldwide attention during the holiday season, the day after Cyber Monday.

Because of the increase in donations, the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau is offering some tips to make sure consumers are giving wisely:

  • Watch out for name similarities. When charities seek support for the same cause, their names can look similar. Before you give, be sure you have the exact name of the charity to avoid a case of mistaken identity.
  • Be cautious about newly created coronavirus charities. While well-intended, they may be less effective than more experienced groups and are harder to check out without a track record.
  • Consider your favorite causes. All types of charities need your support at this time, not just the ones that address coronavirus issues.
  • Don't rely on stories and passion alone in assessing trust. Most charities use stories to help describe their mission and motivate individuals to donate. Emotional pleas, however, are not a reliable indicator to verify trust. Look beyond the passion to see if the charity clearly indicates what specific activities your generosity will support.
  • Don't focus exclusively on financial ratios. While financial ratios are an important part of a charity's overall picture, excessive focus on low overhead spending can be misguided and potentially harmful to an organization's capacity for service. Also, some charities have already experienced financial hardships due to the impact of the virus.
  • Rely on standards-based evaluations. Help verify the trustworthiness of charities by reviewing the in-depth evaluations that specify if the subject charity meets the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability. You can get free access to charity reports at give.org.

for the BBB Wise Giving Alliance's list of more than 50 BBB accredited national charities that are addressing coronavirus.

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