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BBB Suggests a Doing Little Homework When Making Donations

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The next time you consider making a donation to charity, do a little homework first.  Make sure you know to whom you are giving your money.

Be cautious when responding to phone appeals. Like all forms of fund raising, telephone appeals can be put to good use by a charity, or can be part of a deceptive campaign that can result in little money going to the claimed charitable effort. Never be pressured to make an immediate, on-the-spot contribution decision.

Seek out additional facts. If you are interested in the charity, ask the caller for the charity’s website address and/or search online on your own to obtain program, financial, and other information to make a more informed giving decision.

Watch out for excessive fund raising expenses. While most charities have reasonable fund raising expenses (less than 35% of total contributions received in the past year), if a telephone appeal campaign is not managed well, it can result in excessive fund raising expenses where the charity might receive less than 20% or 10% of collected funds.

Rely on expert opinion when it comes to evaluating a charity. Go to to research charitable organizations to verify their trustworthiness. Charities that meet the 20 “BBB Standards for Charity Accountability” are called BBB Accredited Charities.

Click here for more information from the BBB.

And as always, call the BBB with questions or concerns at (256) 850-0719.