#GivingTuesday: How to safely donate to charities

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tuesday is National Giving Day, and several agencies want to make sure you’re giving wisely.

This year marks the sixth anniversary of Giving Tuesday. It was founded by 92Y and the United Nations Foundation and is a designated day to donate to charities.

If you’re looking to participate in Giving Tuesday and donate to a charity, the Better Business Bureau encourages you to do your research and find out more about an organization before sending money.

  • Get the charity’s exact name — the BBB says mistaken identity is a common problem
  • Resist pressure from telemarketers or solicitors to give on the spot
  • Be cautious about “heart-wrenching appeals” – the BBB says to focus on what the charity is doing to help
  • Ask for specifics about how and where the charity is working
  • Check the charity’s website for its mission, program and finances
  • Check the organization’s tax status – don’t assume every organization is tax exempt

The BBB has also set up a website, Give.org, that lets you verify a charity and check if it meets BBB’s standards for charity accountability. The database allows you to search and find the BBB’s report on a charity’s governance, effectiveness, finance and its solicitations and informational materials.

According to the BBB, some charities do not provide any of the requested information needed for the reports. The BBB refers to them as “nondisclosure charities” and asks donors to be cautious when contributing to them.

Florida’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services also has an online resource called “Check-A-Charity” that provides financial information that’s been reported to the department.

STORIES OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON:

WFLA.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s