News & Updates

 

Wise Giving Wednesday: Summer Giving

Jul 3, 2019

The first week of July reminds us that summer is here: rising temperatures, July 4th celebrations, vacations and backyard barbeques. While many us make merry and enjoy the moment, charities continue to help fill unmet needs and address important causes. While those objectives don’t disappear at mid-year, many charities see donations drop-off at this time. There are exceptions, of course, such as disaster-relief charities that get attention in the wake of hurricanes, but most organizations are not in the fundraising spotlight. As a result, BBB Wise Giving Alliance encourages donors to consider the following summer options and tips to help you give wisely during the summer months:

Donating Goods.  If you missed out on spring cleaning, you have a second chance. You can donate unwanted clothing, furniture, or other used items to charities of your choice. Don’t assume used goods are distributed to the needy. Ask how these gifts will be used. If sold in charity thrift stores, how much of the sale benefits the cause?  If a clothing collection bin appears in your supermarket’s parking lot, don’t assume the store has vetted the subject organization. Research the charity online by visiting BBB.org and Give.org. For additional advice, see the previous blog on this subject.

Donating Your Time. Summer is a popular time for many to volunteer to help charities in their area. But before seeking out this type of assistance, think about how much time you can offer the organization. Is this a one-time offer or a continuing commitment to the charity? Be open to a variety of possibilities, such as office work, and let the charity know about any special skills or training you have that might be of use. For more tips, see the following link.

Donating Through Charity Concerts.  Promotions for some summer concerts may claim that ticket purchases will benefit a specified organization.  If so, see if the promotion discloses what amount of the purchase will help the charity. Don’t assume the entire ticket price will go to the group. Visit this blog link for more advice.

Donating Face-to-Face. For many metropolitan areas, summer months also involve in-person appeals made by young solicitors with electronic pads. Look to see if the solicitor is wearing clothing with the charity’s logo, has an ID card, and don’t be shy to say no if not interested. Some of these giving requests involve monthly commitments, where your credit card might be automatically charged each month. See this link for more information.

Verifying Trust.  For each of the above options, remember to take the time to verify the charity’s trustworthiness. Does the organization meet the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability?  Visit BBB.org and Give.org for additional assistance.


Video of the Week

As part of our Building Trust Video Series, we are pleased to provide a video featuring Lieutenant General Robert Ruark USMC (Ret.), CEO of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation (a BBB Accredited Charity), an organization that assists the families of United States Marine Corps and of United States Navy Corpsmen by providing their children with scholarships to attend colleges, universities and vocational and technical institutions.


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