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BBB advises checking charities out before making gifts

10:26 AM, Dec 16, 2012   |    comments
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St. Louis (KSDK) - For many, giving to charities over the holidays is an important part of celebrating the season.  Now, the Better Business Bureau is offering advice to anyone considering donation.

  • If you are unfamiliar with an organization, don't hesitate to ask the charity for written information about its programs and finances. 
  • 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. 
  • Before making online donations, determine whether the charity's website is secure and that it has a privacy policy concerning the use of your name, email address or other personal facts. (Secure sites' addresses begin with https://.) 
  • When considering support for a cause-related marketing campaign, 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? 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.

To learn more, click on the video player to see the Better Business Bureau's interview with NewsChannel 5

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