BBB offers Giving Tuesday tips - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

BBB offers Giving Tuesday tips

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CAPE GIRARDEAU (BBB) -- For the last four years, charities around the world have been promoting “Giving Tuesday” on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving - Nov. 28 this year – as a way to encourage donors to give to charities as part of their holiday preparations.

Better Business Bureau encourages donors to give, but give wisely. BBB has Charity Reviews on more than 1,000 local charities and 11,000 charities nationwide, including many national charities accredited with BBB’s Wise Giving Alliance.

“Donors want to know that their money is being spent wisely,” said Michelle L. Corey, BBB President and CEO. “If they see a ‘clickable’ BBB Accredited Charity seal on a charity’s website or other literature, this means that the charity complies with the BBB’s 20 Standards of Charity Accountability.”

Giving Tuesday is an idea that began four years ago with the 92nd Street Y in New York. Since then, it has grown to include more than 27,000 partners nationwide. Last year, more than $116 million was given online by nearly 700,000 donors who donated through several donation platforms to the charities listed on the Giving Tuesday website.

For many Americans, giving to charities is almost as important during the holidays as celebrating with family. As a result, mailboxes often are stuffed with charitable solicitations as well as catalogs and shopping circulars this time of year. Whether you celebrate or not, giving before Jan. 1 means your gifts will be deductible on your 2016 tax return.

BBB has tips to help donors find deserving charities – and to make giving more effective as well as deductible. Go to http://www.bbb.org/stlouis/charities-donors/ for resources on donating to charities.

BBB’s online Guide to BBB Accredited Charities lists more than 200 local charities who have met BBB’s 20 Standards for Charity Accountability. Buttons in the guide make it easy to donate, volunteer or get involved with Accredited Charities with a click directly to the charity’s website.

When BBB evaluates a charity, it looks beyond finances and overhead, examining a charity’s governance, effectiveness and fundraising practices against BBB standards. Only after a charity meets all 20 BBB standards will BBB offer it BBB Accreditation and use of BBB’s seal.

BBB has tips that increase your confidence that your donation will be used wisely:

If you are unfamiliar with an organization, don't hesitate to ask the charity for written information about its programs and finances.

Don't succumb to pressure to give money on the spot. A charity that can use your money today will welcome it just as much tomorrow. Watch out for appeals that bring tears to your eyes, but tell you nothing about how your donation will be used.

Before making online donations, determine whether the charity’s website is secure and that it has a privacy policy concerning the use of your name, email address or other personal facts. (Secure sites’ addresses begin with https://.)

When considering support for a cause-related marketing campaign, find the answers to these questions: What portion of the purchase price will benefit the charity? What is the duration of the campaign? What is the maximum or minimum total contribution? If the information is not on the item, check the organization’s website.

Before donating used items, make sure they are in good shape to reuse. Donating junk puts an undue burden on the charity and could do more harm than good. You may want to consider selling the item and donating the proceeds to a charity.

BBB urges donors to seek professional advice if they are in doubt about the deductibility of contributions.  Other helpful tips for making donations are posted on BBB’s website (www.bbb.org). The IRS Web site (www.irs.gov) has information on the deductibility of donations on tax returns.

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