ADDISON (CBSDFW.COM) – Donations for Hurricane Harvey relief have poured in from North Texans, from diapers to canned goods and cash. But with an abundance of charities offering help, the Better Business Bureau wants donors to be cautious.
“Don’t act in haste,” says Phylissia Clark of the BBB serving North Central Texas. “Even though you want to help and you want to help immediately, take the time to make sure that you actually are giving to the right organization, the right group.”
Non-profit “Trusted World” spearheaded an enormous donation drop-off Friday in Addison. It was vetted and chosen by Dallas County VOAD, or Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, when the city called.
“They know who we’re working with and they know that we want to make sure that everybody’s taken care of,” says Nikki Beneke, President of Dallas county VOAD.
But if an organization is unfamiliar, Clark says do your homework. “Don’t be afraid to go online and do a little research.”
She recommends verifying the name of the charity, as many are similar. Look for proof of non-profit status and check to see how much of your donation goes to recipients instead of overhead.
“They recommend that 65 percent at least go to the programs themselves,” she says.
Use a source of payment that’s traceable, and proceed with caution on crowdfunding sites. Clark says the outpouring is gratifying – but wants to make sure you and your donations stay safe.
“We want to do our part, too. and we want to make sure everyone stays protected in this tough time,” she says.
Here are websites where you can check a charity before you donate: