CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Giving Tuesday is meant to serve as a kickoff to the season of helping others. Last year, it generated nearly a quarter of a million dollars on this one day alone.
Before you donate, however, make sure you know where your money is going. As the Better Business Bureau has discovered, giving wisely may help keep holiday cheer from turning into the holiday blues.
Recently, the BBB surveyed over 2,000 adults in the U.S. and found that about two-thirds of respondents trusted local charities over national charities – and about that same size trusted smaller charities over larger ones.
Accomplishments showcased by the charity most signaled to a donor that a charity was trustworthy over name recognition, financial ratios, even celebrity endorsements -- proving they’re doing good in the community is key.
Also, donating items like food and clothing were the preferred method of support for donors over volunteering, attending a charity event or even donating money.
In that same survey, the BBB identified that some of the reasons people distrust charity include a bad reputation, negative media, dishonesty and lack of transparency.
Some things to watch out for when looking to donate include:
- Watching 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.
- Thinking through on-the-spot giving to unfamiliar organizations. The holidays bring a higher frequency of donation requests outside public locations. Don’t feel pressured to make an immediate giving decision. Responsible groups will welcome your gift tomorrow as much as today.
- Being 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. Ask detailed questions about how your gift will help.
- Avoiding charities who don’t disclose. A charity’s mission, program and finances should be available on its site. If not, check for a report a www.give.org.
Be sure to visit the BBB’s holiday helper site at www.bbb.org/holidayhelper for more tips on holiday shopping and giving wisely.