News & Updates


BBB’s Advises Donors to Avoid Misconceptions on #GivingTuesday

Nov 26, 2018

Arlington, VA (November 26, 2018) – Donors are more apt to give during the holiday season than any other time of the year. As contributors participate in #GivingTuesday on November 27th, donors should consider the following public misconceptions that were identified in the recently released Donor Trust Report produced by BBB’s

1.  Don’t assume that charity size and regional scope signal trustworthiness. 67 percent of survey respondents said they trust local charities more than national and 62% trust small organizations more than large ones. In BBB’s’s experience, however, charities of all sizes and scope demonstrate good and bad accountability practices.

2.  Don’t assume verifying trust is easy. The Donor Trust Report shows that younger generations are more likely than older donors to believe that verifying trust is easy and can be accomplished by examining the charity’s appeal alone. Verifying charity trustworthiness is more complex. Donors are encouraged to check out charities at to verify if they meet the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability which address charity governance, finances, results reporting and solicitation practices.

3.  Don’t rely on stories and passion alone in assessing trust. The survey results also indicate that 46% of Generation Z (ages 18 and 19) and 32% of Millennials (ages 20-36) tend to attribute trust to those organizations that demonstrate more apparent passion and sincerity in the appeal. In BBB’s view, such indicators are not a reliable means to verify trust and could lead younger donors vulnerable to questionable solicitations.

4.  Don’t focus excessively 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. Consider a more comprehensive view of a charity’s activities in order to make a wise giving decision.

This Donor Trust Report involved an online panel survey of 2,100 adults (18 and above) across the United States.

An infographic on donor misconceptions is available here. 

About BBB Wise Giving Alliance:

BBB Wise Giving Alliance (BBB’s 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 the BBB WGA and local charity reports are produced by local Better Business Bureaus – all reports are available at


For more than 100 years, the Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2017, people turned to BBB more than 160 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as home to its national and international programs on dispute resolution, advertising review, and industry self-regulation.

MEDIA CONTACTS: For more information, journalists should contact Katherine Hutt (212-705-0131 or or Bennett Weiner (703-247-9323 or