JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - As residents in the Florida Panhandle deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, there's a warning for people trying to help those in need.
The Better Business Bureau advises people making disaster relief donations to ensure the organization or individual they're contributing to has the resources to truly help, as the BBB says some charitable and crowdfunding appeals of a dubious nature seem to pop up in the wake of a disaster.
The BBB offers three basic points to keep in mind to make sure donations will go to legitimate and reputable charities:
- Donate to experienced disaster relief organizations. These groups are the best bet to help provide quick and effective assistance to those impacted by the storm. Be cautious about newly established groups and/or those that are vague about what type of help they intend to provide.
- Crowdfunding cautions. If you decide to contribute via crowdfunding, it is safest to give to individuals you personally know who have posted requests for assistance. While there are places such as Give.org that help vet charities, it is difficult to vet individuals. Remember to check the terms and conditions of the platform to learn how your donation will be spent.
- Seek out BBB Accredited Charities. To help verify charity trustworthiness, visit Give.org to access reports that indicate if the relief organization meets the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability.
For more information, BBB’s Florida Hurricane Guide and Disaster Relief Donation Tips can be found at www.bbb.org/FloridaHurricane.
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