Better Business Bureau, On Veterans Day we think of those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Some donors will choose to honor this day by contributing to charities that address a variety of issues and needs facing veterans, military service members and/or their families. To help contributors make wise giving decisions, BBB Wise Giving Alliance offers the following advice:
- Avoid Mistaken Identity. Some veterans charities include the same words in different order or slightly different form. So, be alert and make sure the organization you are considering is the one you want to support.
- Find Out What They Do. Don’t assume what the veterans organization does based on their name alone. Look for a clear description of the organization’s programs in its appeals and on its website.
- Be Careful with Phone Appeals. If not managed properly, some telemarketing campaigns for veterans organizations can be an expensive way to raise funds with very little going to the organization. If called, do not hesitate to ask for written information or visit the group’s website to find out about its programs and finances before making a giving decision.
- Watch Out for Excessive Pressure. Don’t be pressured to make an immediate on-the-spot donation to a veterans organization. Charities should welcome your gift whenever you want to send it.
- Ask How Donated Items Will Be Used. Find out how the charity benefits from the collection and resale of used clothing and other in-kind gifts. Sometimes the charity receives only a small portion of the resale price of the item or may have a contractual arrangement to get a flat fee for every household pick-up, no matter what the contents.
- Check Give.org: In addition to charity reports on BBB’s Give.org, check with your state government’s charity registration agency, usually a division of either the Attorney General’s office or Secretary of State’s office.