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Tips on Donating to Victims of the Evansville Explosion

Aug 11, 2022

 Evansville Explosion


Authorities continue to investigate the cause of the horrible explosion in Evansville, Indiana on August 10th that killed three people and damaged about 40 homes. Some will be seeking to make donations to help the victims and their families. We encourage potential donors to be aware of the different circumstances that often emerge in tragedy-related philanthropy and offer the following tips.

Crowdfunding advice

Crowdfunding has become so popular that it is not unusual for fundraising to start within hours after a tragedy has occurred. Please keep in mind that while some crowdfunding sites take precautions in carefully screening, vetting and managing postings after a tragedy, others might not. If unsure, review the posting procedures described on the crowdfunding site and also find out about transaction fees and other specifics. 

Does the appeal respect victims and their families?

Charitable organizations or crowdfunding postings raising funds should get permission from the families to use either the names of the victims and/or any photographs of them. Don’t assume there is an official connection if photos are displayed.

How will donations be used?

Be cautious about vague appeals that don’t identify the intended use of funds. For example, is money being collected for funeral expenses, reconstruction or other family needs? Also, unless told otherwise, donors will assume that collected funds quickly collected after a tragedy will be distributed or spent just as quickly.

Tax Deductibility

Contributions that are donor-restricted to help a specific individual/family are not deductible in the U.S. as charitable donations, even if the recipient organization is a charity. See IRS Publication 526, page 7, for more information on this subject.  

Review recent announcements to avoid duplication of effort.

Be mindful of public announcements that identify assistance being provided to victim families to help avoid donating to duplicative efforts.

Check out charities with Give.org.

As always, we remind donors to check out charities by visiting BBB’s Give.org to verify if the charity meets the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability.