Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Charity Wednesdays - 2011 Holiday Giving Guide

The BBB Wants YOU To Make Smart Giving Choices This Holiday Season!

Many individuals and families make holiday giving a part of their celebrations as a way to remember those less fortunate, to teach their children about caring for others, or even as a way to receive last-minute tax deductions before year’s end.  Charities often depend on end-of-year giving to keep their financials in the black.   We want you to know how to make sure your holiday giving makes a difference.

Responding to Natural Disasters and Humanitarian Crises

Many in our metro were personally touched by disasters in Reading, Kansas and Joplin, Missouri.  Natural disasters around the world have left many in great need.  As you consider donating money to meet the needs of people who are suffering, here are some tips.

1.Be cautious when giving online.
2.Find out if the charity has an established, on-the-ground presence in the impacted areas.
3.Find out if the charity is providing direct aid or raising money for other groups.
4.Gifts of clothing, food or other in-kind donations.

Smart Giving Basics
  1. Do not give cash; always make contributions by check and make your check payable to the charity, not to the individual collecting the donation.
  2. Keep records of your donations (receipts, canceled checks, and bank statements) so you can document your charitable giving at tax time. Although the value of your time as a volunteer is not deductible, out-of-pocket expenses (including transportation costs) directly related to your volunteer service to a charity are deductible.
  3. Don't be fooled by names that look impressive or that closely resemble the name of a well-known organization.
  4. Check out the organization with the local charity registration office (usually a division of the state attorney general's office) and with your Better Business Bureau.

Below is a list of local charities that have been reviewed by the BBB according to the Standards for Charity Accountability. 

Accredited Charities

The following local charities meet all 20 BBB Standards of Charity Accountability and have been awarded the Kansas City BBB Charity Seal.

The following organization also meets all 20 Standards:

Additionally, the following national charities based here the Kansas City metro area are accredited by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance:

Other Charity Reviews
The following local charity voluntarily submitted information to the BBB and have been reviewed BBB.  For a variety of reasons, they do not meet all 20 Standards. 

The following charities have chosen not to respond to BBB requests for information.

For more information on making wise giving choices, check out the BBB’s Tips on Giving

The BBB reports on charities that the public has us asked about. If your favorite charity is not listed with us, click here to inquire about that organization.  Organizations can also register themselves by visiting our registration page. 

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