November 25, 2019 at 1:08 PM CST
Updated November 25 at 1:08 PM
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (Heartland News at 9) - Several charities started “Giving Tuesday” to create an international day of charitable giving, which follows the busy shopping weekend of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.
Donors are urged to research charities before giving to ensure that their contributions are going to trustworthy organizations.
The Better Business Bureau also has some tips to help donors give wisely:
Watch out for name similarities - When charities seek support for the same cause, their names are often similar. Before you give, be sure you have the exact name of the charity to avoid a case of mistaken identity.
Review the website carefully - A reasonable charity will include the following facts on its website: its mission and programs, measurable goals and concrete criteria that describe its achievements. You should be able to find information on their finances. Keep in mind, the type of work a charity does will affect its costs.
Avoid on-the-spot donation decisions from unfamiliar organizations - The holidays bring a higher frequency of donation requests outside public locations. Don’t give in to pressure to make an immediate giving decision. Responsible organizations will welcome your gift tomorrow as much as they do today.
Be wary of emotional appeals - Marketers have been known to exploit the holidays to make emotional pleas to donors. Instead of making an impulse decision based on emotion, do some research first to verify that your selected charity operates ethically.
Check with state charity officials - In many states, charities are required to register with the office of the attorney general before soliciting. Check your state’s appropriate office is an easy way to detect if an organization is legitimate or not.
Avoid charities that don’t disclose - Although participation is voluntary, charities that don’t disclose any of the requested information to BBB raise a critical red flag for donors. Visit give.org to find out if your selected charity is nondisclosure.
Rely on standards-based evaluations - Charities can demonstrate they are trustworthy be agreeing to in-depth evaluations.
Research tax status - Don’t assume every organization claiming to do good is a tax-exempt charity. You can check an organization’s tax status with the IRS Tax Exempt Organization Search. Also, make sure your contribution is tax deductible.