A 7.2 magnitude earthquake devastated the country of Haiti over a week ago resulting in thousands of deaths and a multitude of injuries. As relief efforts rush to the scene to help, generous donors also want to help by supporting various charities that are raising funds for assistance.
Better Business Bureau certainly encourages generosity to help the victims in Haiti but cautions donors to avoid questionable appeals. BBB Wise Giving Alliance offers the following tips for donors to consider along with a list of BBB Accredited Charities that have announced Haiti-related activities on their websites.
- Does the disaster relief charity meet BBB Charity Standards? You can verify a charity’s trustworthiness by viewing an evaluative report completed by BBB Wise Giving Alliance. See the list provided below of charities that that are soliciting for relief assistance for Haiti and that also meet the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability.
- Is the charity experienced in providing disaster relief? Experienced disaster relief charities are the best bet to help deliver aid quickly and effectively. New entrants may have difficulty in following through even if they have good intentions
- Does the appeal make exaggerated financial claims such as “100% will be spent on relief”? Charities have fundraising and administrative expenses. Any charity claiming otherwise is potentially misleading the donating public. Even a credit card donation will have a processing fee.
- Can the charity get to the impacted area? Not all disaster relief organizations will be positioned to provide relief quickly. See if the charity already has a presence in Haiti.
- Should you send clothing and food? Local drives to collect clothing and food to send overseas are not practical. Disaster relief organizations are better equipped to obtain what is needed, distribute it and avoid duplication of effort.
BBB Wise Giving Alliance, the standards-based charity evaluator, has produced a list of BBB Accredited Charities (i.e., charities that meet the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability) that are engaged in Haiti relief activities. Here is a link to access this list along with additional advice on making informed giving decisions: BBB Accredited Haiti Earthquake Relief Charities.
ABOUT BBB WISE GIVING ALLIANCE: BBB Wise Giving Alliance (BBB’s Give.org) is a standards-based charity evaluator that seeks to verify the trustworthiness of nationally soliciting charities by completing rigorous evaluations based on 20 holistic standards that address charity governance, results reporting, finances, fundraising, appeal accuracy and other issues. National charity reports are produced by BBB’s Give.org and local charity reports are produced by local Better Business Bureaus – all reports are available at Give.org.