#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.


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