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Every week, join Sydney Waters as she helps you navigate life as a smart consumer. You'll cover everything in avoiding the latest scams, including phishing emails, medical equipment fraud, understanding layaway, hiring a reputable tax preparer, and even digital spring cleaning. Add to your toolbox and flip through your Consumer Handbook Thursdays during NPR’s Morning Edition at 6:42 a.m. and 8:42 a.m., only on KRCU.

Consumer Handbook: Research Veterans Charities Before Making a Donation This Memorial Day

Lindsey Grojean/KRCU

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.

Don't succumb to pressure to give money on the spot. Before making online donations, determine whether the charity's website is secure and that it has a privacy policy concerning the use of your name, email address, or other personal information.

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.


Cape Girardeau native Whitney Quick is the former Regional Director of Better Business Bureau in Cape Girardeau, MO. She joined the Cape Chamber as Vice President of Programs and Leadership Development in May 2023. Quick is a graduate of Cape Girardeau Central High School and Southeast Missouri University where she majored in public relations.