February 8, 2017

Wise Giving Wednesday: Charities Fighting Poverty

Even though charity is quite broad in the scope of activities falling under its definition, when we hear the word “charity,” most of us first think of helping those in need.  At its core, that objective is about fighting poverty, which by its nature, is a complex issue that is impacted by a range of contributing factors.  To some, it might be unemployment or the ability to make ends meet in minimum wage jobs.  To others, it’s about the challenges of illiteracy or the lack of adequate education. While the list of potential causes is almost endless, we are encouraged by the promise of assistance that so many charities provide in communities across the country and around the globe. 

No one organization can address all the ills that poverty brings, but charities devoted to this mission do their part to help alleviate some of poverty’s persistent problems, one person at a time, through a variety of means: 

  • Malnutrition:  Food banks, meal delivery services, and other food distribution organizations help provide access to adequate nutrition for individuals as well as their families
  • Unemployment: Job training programs help prepare individuals for new careers
  • Education: Literacy programs range from children’s book distributions to teaching programs helping incarcerated adults
  • Health: Health care access programs reach out to those who are unable to afford the care they need
  • Homelessness: From homeless shelters to soup kitchens, a range of organizations are seeking to help the homeless population each day 

In turn, no one donor can solve poverty by an individual gift, but one can make informed choices by making sure the organization’s program activities are clearly described on both their websites and in appeals. And, by visiting Give.org, one can verify the trustworthiness of the charity by seeing if they meet the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability


On a related noted, as part of our Building Trust Video series, we are pleased to provide a video of David Barringer, CEO, National Council of the U.S. Society of St. Vincent de Paul (a BBB Accredited Charity) which seeks to help millions of people each year through home visits, housing assistance, disaster relief, job training, food pantries, clothing, care for the elderly, and other charitable activities. 


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 https://www.give.org/ask-us-about-a-charity1/ 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