On Sunday, Hurricane Ida, with winds of 150 miles per hour, hit Louisiana. This Category 4 storm is one of the strongest to impact this area.
As this life-threatening situation unfolds, relief organizations are beginning to solicit for support to help those in need. BBB Wise Giving Alliance (BBB’s Give.org) offers the following tips.
Donate to experienced groups. Support experienced organizations that stand ready to provide quick and effective assistance. Be cautious of organizations that form overnight in the wake of a disaster.
Look for appeal clarity. Seek out appeals that are upfront and clear about what disaster relief services you are supporting.
Be wary of 100% claims. Watch out for claims that 100% of donations will assist relief victims. The organization is probably still incurring administrative and fundraising expenses, even if it is using other funds to cover these costs.
Give money rather than goods. Donating money is the quickest way to help and provides charities the flexibility to channel resources to impacted areas.
Verify trustworthiness. Rely on expert opinion when it comes to evaluating a charity. We recommend giving to charities that meet all 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability, found at BBB’s Give.org.
Understanding crowdfunding. If engaging in crowdfunding, give to someone you know and trust, and review the platform’s policies and procedures. Crowdfunding sites operate differently. For example, some crowdfunding sites do very little vetting of individuals who decide to post for assistance after a disaster. If a charitable organization is posting for support on a crowdfunding site, consider going to the charity’s website directly and check out the organization per the tips in this advisory.
Identify celebrity fundraising plans. Before donating to a celebrity’s fundraising effort, look beyond the fame. See if they identify plans for intended use of funds or whether they are collaborating with a well-established charity.
The following is a list of BBB Accredited Charities (i.e., organizations that meet the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability) raising funds for Hurricane Ida disaster relief.
American Red Cross
Brother’s Brother Foundation
Feed The Children
Heart to Heart International
Save the Children