News & Updates

 

Wise Giving Wednesday: Charities and Robocalls

Jun 12, 2019

Recently, there has been much public attention about robocalls. Most everyone is annoyed about these interruptions, which often involve questionable offers for a variety of claimed services and sometimes charitable appeals. The Federal Trade Commission reported it received over 3.7 million complaints in 2018 about robocalls. It is estimated that over 20 billion robocalls are made per year.

In regards to robocalls made by for-profit solicitors on behalf of a charity, federal regulations addressing the Telemarketing Sales Rule prohibit outbound calls using such technology to people who have not previously donated to, or are not members of the referenced charity.

Outbound calls delivering pre-recorded messages to previous donors or members of a charity are only permissible if the caller:

  1. Allows the telephone to ring for at least 15 seconds or four rings before disconnecting;
  2. Plays a prerecorded message that promptly discloses the charity’s identity and that the purpose of the call is to solicit a contribution, followed by the option to be placed on a do-not-call list.

In July 2018, as part of the FTC and state enforcement sweep, Operation Donate with Honor, a complaint against a veterans organization alleged it used illegal robocalls to get individuals to donate cars, boats and other vehicles. The proposed order settling the FTC complaint permanently enjoined the principal of this organization from soliciting charitable contributions.

Recently, the Federal Communications Commission announced that it will enable phone companies to have the ability to allow consumers to block robocalls.

More tips about robocalls, the legality of the practice, and how to avoid scams are available from the BBB.


Video of the Week

As part of our Building Trust Video Series, we are pleased to provide a video featuring Ellie Hollander, President and Chief Executive Officer of Meals on Wheels America (a BBB Accredited Charity) an organization that supports community-based senior nutrition programs across the country that serve to address senior hunger and isolation.


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