Pittsburgh, PA – November 30, 2020 – The week following Thanksgiving isn’t just about shopping. Thanks to Giving Tuesday, it’s now a major time to support charities.

Taking place on the Tuesday after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the Giving Tuesday movement has helped raise more than $1 billion for online charitable giving worldwide since its creation in 2012. BBB’s Give.org urges potential donors to research charities before giving to ensure their generous contributions are going to trustworthy organizations.

“Though donors are more apt to give during the holiday season, 65% of Americans don’t explore where their money is going before donating to a charity,” says Warren King, president of the Better Business Bureau of Western PA. “The evaluations BBB Wise Giving Alliance provides give donors insight into whether their hard-earned dollars go to charities that operate ethically.”

BBB is sharing the following tips to help donors give wisely on Giving Tuesday and make the most of their generosity this holiday season and all year round:

  • 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 an impulse decision based on emotion, do some research first to verify that your selected charity operates ethically.
  • Check with state charity officials. BBB is reminding donors that charities are required to register with the Department of State – Bureau of Charitable Organizations, before soliciting in the state of Pennsylvania. For the appropriate office in all other states, check with the National Association of State Charity Officials.
  • 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 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.

###

ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, the Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2019, people turned to BBB more than 183 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.8 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including your BBB Serving Western Pennsylvania, which was founded in 1931 and serves the 28 counties of Western PA.