Today you could help maintain parks, aid local blind residents, support a haven for youth, contribute to an Islamic school, bolster animal rescue efforts and so much more if you participate in the global giving movement called #GivingTuesday.
In all, more than 10,000 organizations are engaged in the day. According to Neon, 2016 was the biggest and best #GivingTuesday ever, with more than 40,000 nonprofits around the world raising over $168 million from 1.5 million donations with folks chipping in an average $108.
WholeWale.com predicts that generous 2017 givers will easily surpass last year, projecting $201 million will be raised.
If you are unfamiliar with an organization, one way to research is to turn to CharityNavigator.org, which says it offers objective ratings.
The BBB alliance offers these tips for donors doing research:
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 Give.org 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 give.org.
WalletHub, which ranks the most and least charitable states (Kentucky comes in near last as the 41st most charitable state), features a Charity Calculator to help you determine the best strategy by analyzing the value of volunteer hours versus working more and giving cash. Kentucky has the fewest volunteer hours per capita at 20.7, according to WalletHub, as compared to Utah, which has the most at 75.6.