Consumers are encouraged to be selective about how they donate to the cause, to ensure their money or a significant percentage of a purchase ends up in the hands of a legitimate charity.
BBB is warning donors to be wary of making contributions to The Breast Cancer Society, an Arizona-based charity that uses most of its donations to pay professional fundraisers’
The Breast Cancer Society has declined to be evaluated by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance’s Standards for Charity Accountability. Better Business Bureau reports more than 85 cents of every dollar collected by this charity in 2010 went to pay fundraising costs.
To ensure donors get the maximum impact from their generosity during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, BBB encourages consumers to look for organizations that disclose the percentage of donations that go towards administrative costs, the amount of a sale going to a charity and the duration of marketing campaigns.
Potential donors need to ask the right questions when donating to any cause. BBB recommends the following:
Research the charity with BBB - If the product or service supports an unfamiliar charity, learn more about the organization by reviewing the BBB's charity report online. You can start your search of BBB Accredited Charities at http://www.bbb.org/
Identify the charity receiving the donation - If a retailer sells a product or service that is claims to donate a percentage of sales to a charity, contact the business or manufacturer to determine exactly where the money is going and what percentage is donated.
Confirm the charity's corporate partners - Many national breast cancer charities list the names of corporate partners and sponsors on their websites.
Do not give cash - Use a credit card, check or money order made out to the charitable organization, rather than the name of the individual collecting the donation.
Watch out for excessive pressure for on-the-spot donations - Be wary of any requests to send a runner to pick up your donation.
On its website,http://www.nbcam.org, the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month organization emphasizes that it does not solicit contributions and has not authorized the use of its name for solicitation purposes.
Beware of online solicitations, especially in response to spam messages and emails that claim to link to an official organization. Scammers commonly pose as legitimate organizations in order to perpetrate fraud, typically using Twitter or Facebook, where links can sometimes divert you to a fake site or “floating page” to lift your personal info. Give directly to an organization you have researched.
Also, be wary of appeals that are long on emotion, but short on describing what the charity does, and avoid charities that are reluctant to answer reasonable questions about their operations, finances and programs.
Donors may research charities at http://ct.bbb.org/
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Founded in 1928, Connecticut BBB is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. For more advice on finding companies and businesses, start your search with trust at www.bbb.org.