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BBB warns you on donating wisely during this season of giving

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BBB offers five tips for giving wisely on #GivingTuesday

The start of the holiday season is often seen as long lines and door-buster deals as Black Friday and Cyber Monday kick off the biggest shopping period of the year. More importantly, this time of the year is also known as the season of giving. Since 2012, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving became known as #GivingTuesday -- a national campaign that supports giving to those in need. With large areas of the Texas coast still reeling from Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall earlier this year, helping your fellow neighbor is more important than ever.

Unfortunately, scam artists often use this time of year to prey on peoples’ emotions. Better Business Bureau serving the Heart of Texas urges donors to give wisely and support trustworthy charities in recognition of #GivingTuesday. Remember to first research charities to ensure your contributions are going to a trustworthy organization.

BBB Wise Giving Alliance evaluates charities based on 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability. BBB charity reports help donors make informed giving decisions. Your BBB shares these five tips to help donors give with their head and not with their heart:

1. Watch out for copycats. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

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