The Tuesday after Thanksgiving is Giving Tuesday, the annual charity event that helps raise funds for online charitable giving.
This year, Better Business Bureau (BBB) wants you to know how to donate safely to your favorite charities.
Taking place on the Tuesday after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the Giving Tuesday movement has helped raise more than $1 billion for online charitable giving worldwide since its creation in 2012.
Tips for donating on Giving Tuesday
- Check BBB’s Give.org before contributing. There will be many options and opportunities to donate on GivingTuesday, but our best suggestion is to find out more about a charity before you contribute. Charities can demonstrate they are trustworthy by agreeing to in-depth evaluations in relation to the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability. Get free access to charity reports by visiting Give.org to find out if an organization is BBB Accredited (i.e., meets all 20 BBB Charity Standards.)
- Be cautious about name confusion. When charities seek support for the same cause, the names can sometimes appear similar. Before you give, be sure you have the exact name of the charity to avoid a case of mistaken identity.
- Understand registration requirements. In the U.S., about 40 states require charities to register with a government agency, usually a division of either the Attorney General’s office or Secretary of State’s office. (In Canada, check with the Canada Revenue Agency.) Keep in mind that registration with a government agency does not mean the government approves, recommends, or endorses the charity.
- Consider tax-exempt status. There are over 1 million organizations that have applied for and received charitable tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. In part, this means these groups are eligible to receive gifts that are deductible as charitable donations and will file an annual financial form with the IRS. It does not mean the Internal Revenue Service approves, recommends or endorses the charity. The following link provides access to IRS information on charities.
- Watch out for overly emotional appeals. If an appeal brings tears to your eyes, make sure it is also clear about what the charity intends to do to address the issues. Visit the charities website for details about their program services.