I bitch about people posting ads for their cyber-begging websites in my comments, a lot, and I often encourage folks that would be inclined to send a couple of bucks to a cyber-beggar to instead send it to a more worthwhile charity. What I don’t mention much, however, is how you can tell a worthwhile charity from a non-worthwhile one. After all, even supposedly legitimate charities can be little more than dressed up scams.
Enter Give.org. A website set up by the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance to help people who want to donate to a particular charity learn more about how their money will be utilized by said charity. From their website:
The BBB Wise Giving Alliance collects and distributes information on hundreds of nonprofit organizations that solicit nationally or have national or international program services. It routinely asks such organizations for information about their programs, governance, fund raising practices, and finances when the charities have been the subject of inquiries.
The BBB Wise Giving Alliance never recommends one charity over another, and selects charities for evaluation based on the volume of donor inquiries about individual organizations. These policies allow the Alliance to serve donors’ information needs and also help donors to make their own decisions regarding charitable giving.
All 129 local Better Business Bureaus in the United States disseminate Alliance educational materials. Local BBB’s also report on organizations whose fund raising efforts are local in scope.
If you want to ensure that the charity you’re giving to isn’t pocketing most of your donation for themselves then this is the best place to find out. It’s also a good source for learning about many charitable causes you may not have been aware existed. Definitely worth checking into before handing out donations.