News & Updates


Wise Giving Wednesday: Philanthropy Provides Lessons for Effective Dorian Relief

Sep 4, 2019

Problems addressed by philanthropy sometimes involve valuable lessons that can be applied to other situations. Today’s blog seeks to identify elements of Hurricane Dorian relief that might benefit from this comparative analysis.

Quick Fix, Not Always Available. When heart-wrenching situations occur, we often seek a quick fix. We want the bad thing resolved. In philanthropy, quick fixes are often not an option. Natural disasters, such as hurricanes, usually require long term recovery needs as well as emergency assistance. For example, both Great Abaco and Grand Bahama Islands need emergency assistance but also will have long term recovery needs that will likely take years to complete, and even then, things likely won’t be the same.

Circumstances Can Be Unpredictable. When problems are addressed by philanthropy, unpredictable elements are often encountered. The best approaches always involve some degree of flexibility to succeed. Just because we have seen previous hurricane patterns of behavior does not mean that one can predict with pinpoint accuracy how intense the storm will be and where it will make landfall. As we have seen with Dorian, the circumstances can change rapidly or slow to a snail’s pace.

Solutions Often Involve Complexity. A simple solution offered to a problem facing society often does not adequately take into account the full range of circumstances. Solutions often require significant effort from many different participants. This is reflected in natural disasters as well. No single charitable organization can address all of a population’s needs in the wake of a hurricane, it will take the cooperation of multiple charities to succeed.

Planning Not to Surrender. While the above might cause some to abandon the attempt to address such a huge challenge, it can inspire to make even better plans to succeed. Being aware of pitfalls can provide a better roadmap to help. This is one of the reasons we recommend to donors  that they contribute to experienced disaster relief charities who already know what problems to avoid and how to prepare to assist those in need with greater efficiency.

For those seeing additional advice on Hurricane Dorian relief, see our previous blog and remember to verify if your selected disaster relief organization meets the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability visit

Video of the Week

As part of our Building Trust Video Series, we are pleased to provide a video featuring Angie Lawry, Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the Colorectal Cancer Alliance (a BBB Accredited Charity), which works to increase awareness about the importance of early detection of colorectal cancer.  The organization also offers a patient support team that provides hope and support to individuals and their family members affected by colon cancer.

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