BBB: Donate wisely during the holidays

BBB: Donate wisely during the holidays

COLUMBUS, GA (WALB) - The Better Business Bureau says it's no secret that donors are more apt to give during the holiday season. In fact, American charities receive approximately one-third of their annual donations during this time.

These donations make a real impact, and should go to organizations that generate goodwill the entire year. Throughout the holiday season, BBB Wise Giving Alliance (BBB WGA) is urging donors to explore where their money is going before making a donation.

The BBB WGA has listed five important steps donors should take to ensure an organization is trustworthy:

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.

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. Always research to verify that your selected charity operates ethically.

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 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.

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