Wisconsin Better Business Bureau: Donating to honor Memorial Day

Milwaukee, Wis. – On May 31st, Memorial Day, we are reminded of those who gave their lives while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Some of us will seek to honor and respect those who gave the ultimate sacrifice by donating to charities that address a variety of issues and needs facing veterans, military service members and/or their families.

BBB Wise Giving Alliance offers the following advice to help donors make wise giving decisions to such organizations:

  • Watch Out for Name Confusion. Some veterans charities include the same words in different order or slightly different form. So, be alert and make sure the organization you are considering is the one you want to support.
  • Identify What They Do. Don’t assume what the veterans organization does based on their name alone. Look for a clear description of the organization’s programs in its appeals and on its website.
  • Be Cautious on Phone Appeals. If not managed properly, some telemarketing campaigns for veterans organizations can be an expensive way to raise funds with very little going to the organization. If called, do not hesitate to ask for written information or visit the group’s website to find out about its programs and finances before making a giving decision.
  • Be Wary of Excessive Pressure.  Don’t be pressured to make an immediate on-the-spot donation to a veterans organization. Charities will welcome your gift whenever you want to send it.
  • Learn How Donated Items Will Be Used. Find out how the charity benefits from the collection and resale of used clothing and other in-kind gifts. Sometimes the charity receives only a small portion of the resale price of the item or may have a contractual arrangement to get a flat fee for every household pick-up, no matter what the contents.
  • Check Outside Sources Before Giving: In addition to charity reports on BBB’s Give.org, check with your state government’s charity registration agency, usually a division of either the Attorney General’s office or Secretary of State’s office.

The following organizations meet all 20 of the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability (i.e., BBB Accredited Charities.) See the reports in the respective links.

America’s VetDogs – The Veteran’s K-9 Corps
Armed Services YMCA of the USA
Blinded Veterans Association
Blue Star Families
Boot Campaign
Boulder Crest Retreat Foundation
Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation
Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes Foundation
Code of Support Foundation
Corporate America Supports You
Disabled American Veterans
EOD Warrior Foundation
Green Beret Foundation
Homes for Our Troops
Honor Flight Network
K9s for Warriors
Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation
Military Spouse Corporate Career Network
Military with PTSD
National Military Family Association
Operation First Response
Operation Homefront
Puppy Jake Foundation
Soldiers’ Angels
Team Red, White & Blue
Travis Manion Foundation\
USA Cares
Veterans of Foreign Wars National Home for Children
VFW Foundation
Wounded Warrior Project
Wounded Warrior Family Support  

For 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.