Donating Before Investigating
Every month, the BBB informs the public of an absolute 'no,' a fraudulent scheme or offer they should be on the lookout for.
Earlier this month, we received an inquiry from a consumer in regard to a solicitation they had received from United American Patriots, a charity headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina. The organization said they were soliciting on behalf of an Army family dealing with legal and financial issues, which is fine. However, a review of that charity's finances for 2010 revealed that though they received over $1.7 million dollars in donations last year, they devoted just 17% of their total expenses to program services. In other words, less than $1 of every $5 they raised reached the intended recipients.
According to BBB Wise Giving Alliance Standards, a charity should spend at least 65% of its total expenses on program activities. This holiday season and throughout the year, to ensure the soundness of a given charity and be sure your donations provide the maximum benefit to those you're seeking to help, check out charities at www.give.org before making donations.