News & Updates

 

Wise Giving Wednesday: Complaints About Charities

Jul 10, 2019

The majority of individuals visiting the Give.org website are seeking to access our standards-based evaluative reports on charities. While this helps accomplish our main mission in helping donors make informed giving decisions, from time-to-time we also receive complaints about charities. 

For nationally-soliciting charities, the most common type of complaint consists of individuals seeking to be removed from the organization’s mailing list of a charity.  At the regional level, complaints can address a wider range of subjects from problems about a charity thrift store purchase to concerns raised about a pet adopted from an animal shelter.  Whatever the cause, the usual procedure is to forward the complaint to the subject charity and ask that they respond to the individual with a copy to either BBB WGA (or the applicable BBB). 

To file a complaint about nationally-soliciting charities, individuals can complete the following form at Give.org http://give.org/charity-inquiry. Complaints about regionally soliciting charities can be initiated by completing the following form for BBBs: https://www.bbb.org/consumer-complaints/file-a-complaint/get-started 

One of the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability, Standard 20, calls for charities to promptly respond to and act on complaints brought to their attention by the BBB WGA and/or Better Business Bureaus. As a result if a charity does not respond to these concerns, the organization will not meet this standard.

While handling complaints about businesses has been one of the most well-known activities of BBBs, the volume of charity complaints has historically been relatively low since, in most cases, people are seeking information to help them make a donation decision, not to buy a product or service that could initiate a complaint. So, the absence of complaints in a charity’s file is, in some ways, a false-positive aspect of the charity. Just because no complaints have been filed about the charity, does not necessarily mean they are accountable or well managed. This distinction between businesses and charities is one feature that helped encourage the development of charity accountability standards to help assess organizations.


Video of the Week

As part of our Building Trust Video Series, we are pleased to provide a video featuring Teresa Gardner Tyson, Executive Director, St. Mary’s Health Wagon - also known as The Health Wagon -  (a BBB Accredited Charity) that provides mobile health services to medically under-served individuals in Southwest Virginia. Health Wagon provides acute and chronic disease management, lab services, immunizations, physical assessments, dental and eye clinics, medication and pharmacy assistance, referrals, and community health fairs. The organization also states that it provides clinical, educational, and other specialty services to patients via telemedicine technologies.


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