To help contributors make their own wise giving decisions to charities addressing the coronavirus outbreak, BBB Wise Giving Alliance suggests that donors keep the following tips in mind:
- It is best to consider experienced relief organizations. New charities may have the best of intentions, but may face great challenges in fulfilling promises in another country.
- Verify the trustworthiness of soliciting relief organizations by visiting Give.org to access free reports that specify if the charity meets the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability.
- See if the charity has existing connections to be able to deliver aid to impacted areas. Without well-established connections, it may be difficult to provide assistance quickly and effectively.
- Some charities may be raising money to pass along to other relief organizations. If so, you may want to consider “avoiding the middleman” and give directly to charities that either have a presence in the region or an established connection.
- See if the charity’s appeal clearly describes the intended use of funds. Watch out for vague solicitations that promise assistance to those in need but don’t explain how it will be carried out.
- Understand crowdfunding. While there are resources like Give.org to help vet charities, it can be difficult to vet individuals. If you decide to contribute to an individual via crowdfunding, it is safest to give to people you personally know. Also, if a charity is raising money using a crowdfunding posting, see the advice noted above. Be particularly cautious of hazy requests that are not clear about the nature of support that will be provided. Also review the sites instructions to find out about any fees, how quickly funds will be disbursed and other matters of potential importance.
Source: Better Business Bureau