Friday, September 9, 2011

9/11 - Ten Years Later, Still Give Wisely

From our friends at the Metro New York BBB:

Give with Both Head and Heart When Supporting
9/11 Charities

New York, NY – September 8, 2011 – Ten years after September 11, 2001, Americans remain deeply moved by the tragedy of that day and generously willing to aid those who still suffer from the impact of 9/11 events. A number of charities, both old and new, are currently soliciting donations in order to respond to ongoing needs of victims and their families, to support 9/11 memorials, and to carry out other legitimate 9/11 related purposes. However, recent news reports have suggested that some charities that solicited funds in the name of 9/11 relief did not apply the funds appropriately. It is wise to be wary.

BBB recommends: do your homework before giving to the 9/11 cause of your choice. Here are some tips to consider if you are approached with a 9/11 related giving opportunity, especially one that seems unfamiliar, or that is similar to the name of a well-known charity.

Ask questions about why the charity still needs to collect 9/11 related money now. What ongoing purposes are they serving that flow from the events of 9/11? You can request written details from the charity about what it does with the donations.

Check with the IRS at www.irs.gov/app/pub-78/ to verify the organization’s tax exempt status. In New York State, you can also verify charity registration through the New York State
Attorney General’s Charities Bureau at www.charitiesnys.com.

Contact your BBB to get BBB charity reviews on 9/11 related charities. See national BBB charity reviews at www.bbb.org/charity. Metro New York area charity reviews are also available through www.newyork.bbb.org.

Contact us at nypas@newyork.bbb.org to suggest a charity for BBB review, and to report any unfamiliar organizations that are collecting 9/11 funds now.

In the months following the 9/11 disaster, the Metro New York BBB Foundation’s New York Philanthropic Advisory Service surveyed 9/11 related charities and published a report about its findings. To view that report Click Here.

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