Consumer Handbook: Research Veterans Charities Before Making a Donation This Memorial Day
Stories of disabled veterans needing assistance often inspire Americans to make donations to charities that promise to help needy veterans. Better Business Bureau reminds donors to look beyond the poignant stories before making a donation.
In recent years, BBB has issued several warnings about charities that failed to live up to promises of providing assistance to veterans in need. Some devoted more money to raising funds than to helping veterans. Some weren't willing to reveal how their funds were spent or the amount of assistance they offered.
BBB Charity Reviews let donors know whether a charity has complied with BBB Standards for Charity Accountability - 20 standards designed to show that a charity is transparent about its operations and fundraising, and that it follows good governance practices. Charities that meet all 20 standards may qualify as BBB Accredited Charities.
BBB offers these tips to potential donors: Learn all you can about a charity before contributing. Ask for printed documentation on how much of your contribution will be used for program services and how much will go for fundraising and management expenses. Whenever possible, donate directly to a charity and not through a fundraising telemarketer or a direct mail solicitation.
When considering support for a cause-related marketing campaign, find the answers to these questions: What portion of the purchase price will benefit the charity? What is the duration of the campaign? What is the maximum and minimum total contribution? If the information is not on the item, check the organization's website.