CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Millions of people in the path of Hurricane Sandy have been adversely impacted and will need assistance as they rebuild their lives.
If you want to give, the easiest way that you can help is by making a donation directly to an experienced disaster relief agency or charity.
“With every major disaster, we see donation scams,” said BBB President Tom Bartholomy, “so it’s important for you to give carefully.”
The BBB has nine tips that will help make sure that your donation goes for the purpose that you intend it to go.
If you want to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy, the BBB has nine tips:
- Experienced charities - Give to charities that are experienced in disaster relief. While other charities may solicit donations for hurricane relief, these organizations may not have the ability to quickly deliver aid to those in need.
- Online giving - Be careful giving in response to online solicitations that you see posted on social media sites or receive via email. If you want the convenience of giving online, go directly to the charity’s website, instead of clicking on a link in an email or online post.
- Exaggerated promises – Be wary of charities that claim to give 100 percent of funds raised to victims. Every organization incurs direct or indirect fundraising costs.
- Charity confusion - Watch out for fake charities that use similar names or logos of well-known organizations, in order to intentionally confuse donors.
- Emotional giving - Beware of emotional appeals that do not address how the charity will meet the needs of victims and their families.
- Payment methods. Do not give cash or send money via wire transfer. Checks or money orders should be made out to the name of the charitable organization, not to the individual collecting the donation.
- Telephone and email solicitations - Do not give your credit card number or other personal information to a telephone solicitor or in response to an e-mail solicitation.
- BBB Wise Giving Alliance -Before making a contribution, check the charity out to see if it meets the BBB’s Standards for Charitable Giving. Go to BBB to obtain detailed reviews on charities and relief organizations.
- IRS tax status - To ensure your contribution is tax deductible, donations should be made to charitable organizations that are tax exempt, 501(c)(3) charities.
For more information, please visit BBB Wise Giving Alliance.
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