June 27, 2018

Wise Giving Wednesday: Online Giving Platforms

This month the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued guidance about online giving portals. As described, these portals provide a list of charities that potential donors can support directly on the platform. The platforms take a variety of forms including, but not limited to, crowdfunding sites, social media hubs, and online retailers. Overall, the FTC recommends they include prominent, clear and accurate disclosures about how they operate.

Some of the FTC recommended disclosures for these portals include:

  • Identifying which designated charities will receive the contributed funds.
  • Informing donors if there are fees for the transaction and how much of the total contributed amount will go to the charity.
  • Explaining when the selected charity get the donation.
  • Providing notice about whether donor information will be shared with others.

Further, the FTC advises that the portals should be transparent about any relationship it might have with the designated charities and “…what type of screening (if any) is done before a charity is included in the giving portal [and] avoid creating a false impression that a charity is recommended or otherwise evaluated or endorsed by the giving portal.”

BBB Wise Giving Alliance believes these FTC recommendations, if followed, will help donors avoid questionable giving circumstances and will result in improved practices among existing giving portals.  Donors can also visit Give.org to see if a charity listed on a giving portal has been the subject of a BBB evaluative report that specifies if it meets the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability. 

Video of the Week 

As part of our Building Trust Video Series, we are pleased to provide a video featuring Janet Mintzer, President & CEO, Pearl S. Buck International (a BBB Accredited Charity) which carries out international exchange programs, cultural appreciation and education programs, child sponsorship, humanitarian aid, public exhibits, and the preservation and interpretation of the Pearl S. Buck House.  

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 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