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Wise Giving Wednesday: Advice on GivingTuesdayNow – May 5, 2020

Apr 29, 2020

GivingTuesday, which has gained worldwide attention in promoting donations during the holiday season, has launched a campaign taking place on May 5th, to encourage donating to charity and/or otherwise helping communities in response to the needs caused by COVID-19. We know this is a critical time to show support and encourage donors to consider the following advice.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Consider your favorite causes. All types of charities need your support at this time, not just the ones that address coronavirus issues.
  4. 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.
  5. 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. Also, some charities have already experienced financial hardships due to the impact of the virus.
  6. 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. Get free access to charity reports at Give.org.

As both nationally-soliciting and regionally-soliciting charities welcome your help during this challenging time, consider your giving choices carefully to ensure your generosity is well used.


Video of the Week

As part of our Building Trust Video Series, we are pleased to provide a video interview with Cheryl Crazy Bull, President & CEO of the American Indian College Fund (a BBB Accredited Charity) that works to help all Native people meet their full potential by providing them with access to a higher education. The organization reports that it provided over 5,000 scholarships in the past year to students seeking to better their lives through higher education. AICF also provides financial and programmatic support for the needs of 35 accredited tribal colleges and universities, ranging from capital support to cultural preservation curricula.


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 www.give.org/charity-inquiry 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