January 23, 2022

Vision Cim

Thank Business Its Friday

Better Business Bureau: Giving Tuesday

The week following Thanksgiving isn’t just about shopping. Thanks to Giving Tuesday, it’s now a major time to support charity.

The BBB Wise Giving Alliance at Give.org urges potential donors to research charities before giving to ensure their generous contributions are going to trustworthy organizations.

“Holiday donations can make a real impact. Therefore, it’s critical that donors’ hard-earned money go to charities that operate ethically,” says Lisa Frohnapfel, President & CEO of the Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan. “The 2021 West Michigan Wise Giving Guide helps people make those wise giving decisions.”

Tips for Donating on Giving Tuesday

BBB Wise Giving Alliance is sharing the following tips to help donors give wisely and make the most of their generosity this holiday season and all year round:

Do your research. Charities can demonstrate they are trustworthy by agreeing to in-depth evaluations such as the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability. Read West Michigan charity reports here.

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.

Review the website carefully. A responsible charity will include the following facts on its website: its mission and programs, measurable goals, and concrete criteria that describe its achievements. You should also be able to find information on their finances. Keep in mind, the type of work a charity does will affect its costs.

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. Instead of making an impulse decision based on emotion, do some research first to verify that your selected charity operates ethically.

Check with state charity officials. Most charities soliciting contributions in Michigan are required to register with the Charitable Trust Section of the Attorney General’s office. You can search that database here.

Research tax status. Don’t assume every organization claiming to do good is a tax-exempt charity. You can check an organization’s tax status with the IRS Tax Exempt Organization Search tool. Also, make sure your contribution is tax-deductible.

Read the 2021 BBB West Michigan Giving Guide here.

For more holiday tips, visit the BBB Holiday Tips page.