Focus on Philanthropy this Giving Tuesday
Dec 02, 2013 | 465 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print

(TYLER, TX) – December 2, 2013 - Now that Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday have passed, it’s time to focus our attention on Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday is a movement which began in 2012 which encourages people to focus on philanthropy on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, just as Black Friday and Cyber Monday spur people to shop. Last year, 2,500 organizations participated nationally resulting in over $10 million in donations. This year, organizers estimate partnership to exceed 3,700 organizations.

 

In an effort to help donors make wise decisions when evaluating appeals from charities, the 2013 Giving Guide - Holiday Edition for BBB Serving Central East Texas is now available for download at bbb.org.

It is our hope that this guide will help to decrease the instances of donors giving money to fraudulent organizations and groups with questionable fundraising practices, resulting in more charitable dollars going to the many legitimate organizations in our community. Helping donors make informed giving decisions is just one more way BBB seeks to fulfill its mission to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust”, Mills stated.

 

If you are considering making a donation, BBB also provides the following guidelines:

 

GIVING BASICS

  • Don’t judge a charity based solely on an impressive sounding name. Know who is really asking for your money.

  • Don’t give cash. Make a check out to the organization, never an individual.

  • Be wary of emotional appeals, and be suspicious of organizations with only vague plans for dispersing funds.

  • If donating to disaster relief, find out if the charity has an on-the-ground presence in the affected areas.

  • Some solicitors are overly persistent and may even offer to send a “runner” to pick up your money. Never feel pressured to give on the spot.

  • Not all solicitors are charities. Ask about the organization’s tax exempt status. If the group doesn’t have a federal tax exempt number, you will not be able to legitimately claim your contribution as a tax deduction.

  • Ask for written materials describing the group’s programs and finances.

  • Remember that every organization will have administrative and fundraising costs. Examine the percent of total revenue that goes for the organization’s programs. Does the amount going toward programs and services seem appropriate? Be extremely wary of claims that 100 percent of donations will go to programs. Even a credit card donation will involve, at a minimum, a processing fee.

 

MOBILE GIVING TIPS

  • If you are considering texting your donation, verify that the code and number you’ve been given is correct.

  • Be aware that a texted donation does not always immediately reach a charity. As the full process involves several parties, including your phone service provider and the third-party carrier that transmits donations to the charity, it may take 60-90 days in some cases. In the case of some catastrophic events, however, some carriers do implement swifter gift transmissions.

 

The BBB Giving Guide is provided at no cost and will be published twice a year to help donors make more informed giving decisions.

 

For more tips on how to be a savvy donor and consumer, go to bbb.org. To report a scam or other unscrupulous business practices, call the BBB Hotline: (903) 581-8373.

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