Giving Tuesday: tips to help donors give wisely

The Better Business Bureau encourages donors to do research on charities for Giving Tuesday. The Better Business Bureau encourages donors to do research on charities for Giving Tuesday. | 

Created: December 02, 2019 03:41 PM

The spirit of the holidays usually means giving to your favorite cause.


The Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance says charities in the U.S. typically receive a third of their annual budget from end-of-the-year donations.

Several charities started "Giving Tuesday" to encourage people to donate to agencies that help the less fortunate.  This year, Giving Tuesday falls on December 3.

The BBB encourages people to do some research first before donating so you can make sure your money goes to trustworthy organizations:

  • Watch out for name similarities. When charities seek support for the same cause, their names are often similar. Before you give, be sure you have the exact name of the charity to avoid a case of mistaken identity.
  • Avoid on-the-spot donation decisions from unfamiliar organizations. The holidays bring a higher frequency of donation requests outside public locations. Don’t succumb to pressure to make an immediate giving decision. Responsible organizations will welcome your gift tomorrow as much as they do today.
  • Be wary of emotional appeals. Marketers have been known to exploit the holidays to make emotional pleas to donors. Always research to verify that your selected charity operates ethically.
  • Avoid charities that don’t disclose. Although participation is voluntary, charities that don’t disclose any of the requested information to BBB WGA raise a critical red flag for donors. Visit to find out if your selected charity is nondisclosure.
  • Rely on standards-based evaluations. Charities can demonstrate they are trustworthy by agreeing to in-depth evaluations such as the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability. Get free access to charity reports at

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