News & Updates


Wise Giving Wednesday: Helping Victims of the Tornadoes in Alabama

Mar 6, 2019

Destructive storms never cease to amaze and alarm us – the ability to flatten a house to rubble in minutes is still hard to believe each time we hear of it. The tornadoes that hit southern Alabama and parts of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina this week inflicted severe damage in their path. The most devastating Alabama areas impacted, in Lee County, Smith’s Station and Beauregard, resulted in a reported 23 deaths. As disaster relief organizations begin to solicit and other charities seek to help, BBB Wise Giving Alliance encourages donors to review our Disaster Relief Donation Tips page and also keep the following basic points in mind.

1.   Donate to experienced relief organizations. These groups are the best bet to help provide quick and effective assistance to those impacted by the storm. Be cautious about newly established groups and/or those that are vague about what type of help they intend to provide. While local charities can also play an important role, make sure they have plans in place to be able to follow through on their good intentions.

2.   Crowdfunding cautions. After every natural disaster, we quickly see postings for help on crowdfunding sites. If you decide to contribute via crowdfunding, it is safest to give to individuals who you personally know that have posted requests for assistance. While there are places such as that help vet charities, it is difficult to vet individuals. And remember to check the terms and conditions of the platform to learn how your donation will be affected.

3.   Seek out BBB Accredited Charities. To help verify charity trustworthiness, visit to access reports that indicate if the relief organization meets the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability.

By coincidence, the American Red Cross reports that March is Red Cross Month. This recognition in March started with Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1943 and has been repeated by each U.S. President since then to help bring attention to the volunteering opportunities, blood donations, emergency shelter and other activities carried out by the Red Cross each year. The Red Cross has also announced its activities to assist areas impacted by these tornadoes.

BBB Accredited Charities are welcoming donations to help the areas impacted by these tornadoes including the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and the United Way of Central Alabama.

Video of the Week

As part of our Building Trust Video Series, we are pleased to provide a video featuring Gail McGovern, President and CEO, American Red Cross. This video was produced in conjunction with her article, “Saving Lives Through Partnership," to help further discuss the concept of a structured but adaptable collaboration model in carrying out its work.

Recent Reports

We are always working with charities to publish or update reports for donors. Visit or local BBBs to check out any charity before giving. Our recently evaluated charities include:

Finally, remember to let us know by going to 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