News & Updates


Wise Giving Wednesday: Last Minute Donation Decisions

Dec 18, 2019

As the holidays approach and the year draws to a close, many donors will be making their end of year donation decisions. To help contributors avoid disappointment and/or potential problems, BBB Wise Giving Alliance offers the following advice.

There’s Always Time to Verify.  With a few clicks on the website, you can verify if your selected charities are BBB Accredited (i.e., if they meet the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability). Don’t succumb to pressure to donate before making this simple step to help ensure that your generosity goes to trustworthy organizations.

Donating Your Car. Whether it’s a radio public service announcement, online promotion, newspaper ad or other medium promoting the option of donating your care to charity, don’t assume the referenced charity is the only group that would welcome your car donation. Many charities would welcome such a gift. No matter which charity you choose, make sure you do several things (a) review the IRS booklet about donating your car to make sure you are taking the appropriate steps to get a proper and accurate deduction, (b) find out how the charity will benefit from the care donation – in some cases they may only receive a small amount of the auction price when the car is resold, (c) don’t assume what the charity does based on its name alone, go to their website and read about their program services, and (d) change the title of the car before it leaves your property to avoid being liable if the car is later involved in an accident or illegally parked after you make the donation, and (e) visit to verify if the charity is BBB Accredited.

Donating clothing. If you decide to donate a warm coat or other clothing items to a charity this season, make sure the item is in good used condition (i.e., discard the torn sweaters) as most charities won’t accept heavily damaged goods. In some cases, coat drives may even require that the coats be new. Make sure you know how the charity will use the donation, visit their website for details. If you simply drop the clothing in a collection bin without checking further, you might end up not contributing to a charity at all or perhaps one that receives very little of the value of what’s collected. For information on getting a tax deduction for such gifts, visit IRS Publication 561.

Donating food. Food banks will welcome your donations of non-perishable food, so consider that option as well. Some communities have experienced shortfalls in giving at food banks and would greatly value your generosity this time of year. If your short of cash, this could be a great way to help families in need.

Donating toys. Check with the charity first, as some of the more organized toy collection drives may have already closed out their toy collection drives for the holidays and are now focused on distribution. But it is possible that some are still welcoming toy donations even now, so give them a call before dropping off your contribution. (And, don’t forget to attach batteries if the toy requires them.)

Donating time. Some charities need volunteers to help carry out their holiday plans whether it is delivering meals to needy individuals, sorting through in-kind donations or helping them in their outreach activities. So consider donating your time, if that is an option.

Video of the Week

As part of the building trust video series, we are pleased to provide a video featuring Kari Rosbeck, President and CEO, Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance (also known as the National Tuberous Sclerosis Association.) This is a BBB Accredited Charity that supports research into the diagnosis, cause, management, and cure of tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). The organization also provides individuals with TSC and their families with direct access to information, resources, and specialists experienced in the diagnosis, treatment and management of TSC.

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 and CEO
BBB Wise Giving Alliance