Donating to Help Colorado Nightclub Shooting Victims

By H. Art Taylor
President & CEO BBB Wise Giving Alliance
Nov 22, 2022


Many generous individuals will be moved to help the victims and families of the horrific shooting that took place this past weekend at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs. BBB Wise Giving Alliance offers the following tips to help make informed giving decisions.

Does the appeal respect victims and their families?

Charitable organizations or crowdfunding campaigns raising funds should get permission from those close to the victim to use either their names and/or any photographs of them. Don’t assume there is an official connection just because photos are displayed.

How will donations be used?

Be cautious about vague appeals that don’t identify the intended use of funds. For example, is money being collected for funeral expenses or other family needs? Also, unless told otherwise, donors will assume that funds collected immediately after a tragedy will be distributed or spent just as quickly.

Are donations deductible?

Contributions that are donor-restricted to help a specific individual/family are not deductible in the U.S. as charitable donations, even if the recipient organization is a charity. See IRS Publication 526, page 7, for more information on this subject. 

Do you know crowdfunding specifics?

Crowdfunding has become so popular that it is not unusual for fundraising to start within hours after a tragedy has occurred. Please keep in mind that while some crowdfunding sites take precautions in carefully screening, vetting, and managing postings after a tragedy, others might not. If unsure, review the posting procedures described on the crowdfunding site and find out about transaction fees and other specifics.

Will there be financial transparency?

After funds are raised for a tragedy, it is even more important for organizations to provide an accounting of how funds were spent. Transparent organizations will post this information on their websites so that anyone can find out and have to wait until financial statements are available something in the future.

As always, we remind donors to check out charities by visiting Give.org to verify if the charity meets the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability.

 

ABOUT BBB WISE GIVING ALLIANCE: BBB Wise Giving Alliance (BBB’s Give.org) is a standards-based charity evaluator that seeks to verify the trustworthiness of nationally soliciting charities by completing rigorous evaluations based on 20 holistic standards that address charity governance, results reporting, finances, fundraising, appeal accuracy and other issues. National charity reports are produced by BBB’s Give.org and local charity reports are produced by local Better Business Bureaus – all reports are available at Give.org.

ABOUT BBB: The Better Business Bureau has empowered people to find businesses, brands, and charities they can trust for over 110 years. In 2021, people turned to BBB more than 200 million times for BBB Business Profiles on 6.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 12,000 charities, for free at BBB.org. The International Association of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.


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