(WTAJ) — Giving Tuesday, the Tuesday after Black Friday, started in 2012 and has helped raise more than $1 billion for online charitable organizations worldwide.
The Better Business Bureau offered up tips to donate wisely for Giving Tuesday this year, saying that 65% of Americans don’t explore where their money is going before donating to a charity.
“Donors are more likely to give during the holiday season, but 65% of Americans don’t explore where their money is going before donating to a charity,” says Caitlin Driscoll, public relations director of the Better Business Bureau of Western PA. “Holiday donations can make a real impact. Therefore, it
s critical that donors hard-earned dollars go to charities that operate ethically.”
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 responsible charity will include the following facts on its website: its mission and programs, measurable goals and concrete criteria that describe its achievements. You should also 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 succumb 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 impulse decisions based on emotion, do some research first to verify that your selected charity operates ethically. All charities are required to register with the Department of State Bureau of Charitable Organizations before soliciting in the state of Pennsylvania.
Avoid charities that don’t disclose. Although participation is voluntary, charities that don’t disclose any of the requested information to BBB WGA raise a critical red flag for donors. Visit give.org to find out if your selected charity is a nondisclosure. Rely on standards-based evaluations. Charities can demonstrate they are trustworthy by agreeing to in-depth evaluations such as the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability.
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 tool. Also, make sure your contribution is tax-deductible.
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