St. Louis, Mo., Nov. 7, 2011 – Charity solicitations that tug at heartstrings are flooding mailboxes, email inboxes, billboards and the airwaves. As the holidays approach, the pressure to give can be even greater.
The Better Business Bureau’s Charity Information Service has a handy resource to help donors evaluate charities: The Winter Wise Giving Guide provides information on 565 nonprofits in eastern Missouri and Southern Illinois. Information in the guide was current as of Nov. 7, 2011.
This year, 164 charities have met all 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability and have received the BBB Accredited Charity seal to include online and in their promotional materials. The standards are included in the guide.
The 15-page guide also indicates which charities have not met the standards, showing which standards they still must meet to qualify for accreditation. The guide is available electronically at stlouis.bbb.org/charity or at the following direct link: http://stlouis.bbb.org/Storage/142/Documents/Winter2011-12GivingGuide.pdf. A printed copy can be obtained by contacting the BBB. The guide is published twice a year.
Up-to-date charity reports are available on the BBB website or by calling (314) 645-3300.
The BBB offers the following tips to donors:
- If you are unfamiliar with the organization, don't hesitate to ask for written information about its programs and finances. Check its BBB Charity Review at stlouis.bbb.org/charity.
- Don't succumb to pressure to give money on the spot. A charity that can use your money today will welcome it just as much tomorrow. Watch out for appeals that bring tears to your eyes, but tell you nothing about how your donation will be used.
- When considering the purchase of products to support a charity, 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 or minimum total contribution to the charity? If the information is not on the item, check the organization’s website.
- Before donating used items make sure they are in good shape to reuse. Donating junk puts an undue burden on the charity and does more harm than good. You may want to consider selling the item and donating the proceeds to a charity.
For more information on how to ensure that your donation gets into the right hands, visit BBB’s Charity Information Service at www.stlouis.bbb.org/charity.
Contacts: Michelle Corey, President & CEO, 314-584-6800, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Chris Thetford, Vice President-Communications, 314-584-6743 or 314-681-4719 (cell), email@example.com, or Jim Judge, Charity Review Director, 314-584-6735, firstname.lastname@example.org