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10 Charities That Should Raise A Red Flag Before You Donate

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Check before you donate because a neighborhood fire leaves a family homeless. Flooding in Louisiana destroys over 40,000 homes. Cleanup is expected to take months. California forest fires turn hundreds of homes to ash.

These are some of the headlines we’ve been seeing and hearing lately. You feel sorry for the people affected and all you want to do is help. After all, it’s what they do for you if the situation were reversed.

Before you reach into your pocket to donate, the Better Business Bureau urges you to check and be sure that charity is trustworthy. The BBB maintains a website for you to check before giving. It’s Give.org.

bbbThe BBB has compiled the top ten charities that should at least raise a red flag before you send them money. Here’s the BBB news release:

Last week BBB Wise Giving Alliance (BBB WGA) released a list of the 10 largest charities (ranked by Fiscal Year 2014 total contributions) that failed to disclose any of the requested information needed to verify the charity’s trustworthiness. The list includes recognizable charities, including Teach for America, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. A charity’s failure to disclose important information relevant to BBB WGA evaluation should be a red flag for donors, and the BBB WGA urges donors to avoid charities that dodge transparency.

“Transparency is the mark of a well-run charity,” said H. Art Taylor, CEO and President of BBB WGA. “Failure to disclose important operations information demonstrates a complete disregard to the importance of trust.

The majority of charities agree to an evaluation, and it’s concerning when charities refuse. Failure to disclose information isn’t just about snubbing the BBB WGA reporting process — these charities are snubbing the people and donors who are asking BBB WGA to verify the charity’s trustworthiness.

We know that publicly-available financial information is simply not enough for BBB WGA to evaluate a charity’s trustworthiness, which is why we evaluate charities on 20 unique standards that also examine a charity’s governance, effectiveness reporting and fund-raising practices, among other issues.”

BBB WGA is releasing its list of top Transparency Dodgers to uncover some of the largest national charities that fail to disclose critical information and underscore the importance of donors researching before they give.

BBB WGA conducts rigorous, comprehensive evaluations on thousands of charities to help donors ensure that the money and time they donate is being spent wisely. To see if your favorite charity is transparent, visit Give.org to check out BBB WGA’s free charity reports.

Full list of BBB WGA’s Top 10 Transparency Dodgers: (ranked by FY 2014 total contributions):

  1. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  2. Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  3. Teach For America
  4. NeighborWorks America
  5. John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
  6. National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
  7. City Year
  8. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  9. Pact
  10. Local Initiatives Support Corporation,