Give wisely, BBB offers tips for helping out

Knowing what's important to you when donating and how your money is being spent are two big things when deciding which charity to choose

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Following disasters like Hurricane Harvey, Maria and Irma, millions of people are still in need of donations, both money and goods.

With so many donation options available and some false charities, it’s good to be cautious when giving online.

Melissa Ames with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) in Youngstown said donating goods, as opposed to money, makes it hard to get donations to victims quickly, especially in remote places. She also said knowing what’s important to you when donating and how your money is being spent are two big things when deciding which charity you’ll choose.

“We recommend that at least 65 percent of your donation make it to the program at the end of the day. If an organization can’t tell you what their cost is, that’s a big red flag and you might want to look for another organization,” Ames said.

Ames said to also be careful about a middleman. That is a person who is collecting donations for another organization.

“In that case, they are taking money before they are giving it to the other organization,” Ames said.

If you are looking to donate but don’t know where to start, BBB’s website www.give.org has a list of other red flags to watch for as well as donors they have approved.

Approved organizations voluntarily give their annual report to the BBB, where it is fact checked and analyzed.