Wisconsin BBB: Give wisely when donating for Hurricane Ida relief

Milwaukee, Wis. – On Sunday, Hurricane Ida, with winds of 150 miles per hour, hit Louisiana. This Category 4 storm is one of the strongest to impact this area. As this life-threatening situation unfolds, relief organizations are beginning to solicit for support to help those in need. BBB Wise Giving Alliance (BBB’s Give.org) offers the following tips. We also encourage donors to recognize the shared cycle of disaster activity – Rescue, Relief and Recovery. Each phase will require its own support and expertise to help communities recover. There will be many opportunities to give.

Donateto Experienced Groups. Support experienced organizations that stand ready to provide quick and effective assistance. Be cautious of organizations that form overnight in the wake of a disaster.

Look for Appeal Clarity. Seek out appeals that are upfront and clear about what disaster relief services you are supporting.

Be Wary of 100 Percent Claims. Watch out for claims that 100 percent of donations will assist relief victims. The organization is probably still incurring administrative and fundraising expenses, even if it is using other funds to cover these costs.

Give Money Rather Than Goods. Donating money is the quickest way to help and provides charities the flexibility to channel resources to impacted areas.

Verify Trustworthiness. Rely on expert opinion when it comes to evaluating a charity. We recommend giving to charities that meet all 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability, found at BBB’s Give.org.

Understanding Crowdfunding. If engaging in crowdfunding, give to someone you know and trust, and review the platform’s policies and procedures. Crowdfunding sites operate differently. For example, some crowdfunding sites do very little vetting of individuals who decide to post for assistance after a disaster. If a charitable organization is posting for support on a crowdfunding site, consider going to the charity’s website directly and check out the organization per the tips in this advisory.

Identify Celebrity Fundraising Plans. Before donating to a celebrity’s fundraising effort, look beyond the fame. See if they identify plans for the intended use of funds or whether they are collaborating with a well-established charity.

The following is a list of BBB Accredited Charities (i.e., organizations that meet the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability) raising funds for Hurricane Ida disaster relief. This list will be updated as additional efforts come to the BBB’s attention. The first link shows the BBB Wise Giving Alliance Report on the charity. The second is a link to the page on the charity’s website that describes its Hurricane Ida preparations, activities and/or fundraising.

American Red Cross – BBB Wise Giving Alliance Report – Hurricane Ida Activities

Americares – BBB Wise Giving Alliance Report – Hurricane Ida Activities

Brother’s Brother Foundation – BBB Wise Giving Alliance Report – Hurricane Ida Activities

Feed The Children – BBB Wise Giving Alliance Report – Hurricane Ida Activities 

Heart to Heart International – BBB Wise Giving Alliance Report – Hurricane Ida Activities

Operation USA – BBB Wise Giving Alliance Report – Hurricane Ida Activities

Salvation Army – BBB Wise Giving Alliance Report – Hurricane Ida Activities

Save the Children – BBB Wise Giving Alliance Report – Hurricane Ida ActivitiesFor more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at www.bbb.org/wisconsin, 414-847-6000 or 1-800-273-1002. Consumers also can find more information about how to protect themselves from scams by following the Wisconsin BBB on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube

ABOUT BBB WISE GIVING ALLIANCE: BBB Wise Giving Alliance (BBB’s Give.org) is a standards-based charity evaluator that seeks to verify the trustworthiness of nationally soliciting charities by completing rigorous evaluations based on 20 holistic standards that address charity governance, results reporting, finances, fundraising, appeal accuracy and other issues. National charity reports are produced by BBB’s Give.org and local charity reports are produced by local Better Business Bureaus – all reports are available at Give.org. 

ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, the Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2020, people turned to BBB more than 220 million times for BBB Business Profiles on 6.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at BBB.org. There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Wisconsin which was founded in 1939 and serves the state of Wisconsin.