Donate your time andmoney wisely on this 9/11 anniversary
Better Business Bureau advises consumers on charitable giving
TYLER, Texas – Sept. 11, 2013 – The 9/11 anniversary serves as a reminder to all Americans of the impact giving can make on a community struck by tragedy. Whether you’re donating your time or money, BBB Wise Giving Alliance (WGA) recommends that you do your research before giving or volunteering for an organization. BBB WGA produces reports on more than 1,200 nationally soliciting charitable organizations. Local BetterBusiness Bureaus report on another 10,000 local and regional charities.
According to the Chronicleof Philanthropy, the cities of Tyler and Longview ranked 32nd and 35th respectively as the most generous cities in the U.S. for 2012, and the state of Texas ranked 13th nationally in charitable contributions. Much of the work that charities perform is made possible because of volunteers. Accordingto the most recent numbers from the Bureauof Labor Statistics, 64.5 million people volunteered for an organization at least once between September 2011 and September 2012.
BBB Wise Giving Alliance recommends taking the following five steps to make sure your time and energy are put to great use as a volunteer:
· Identifyyour skills. Volunteering opportunities are available for any skill level. Consider what you’re good at and what services you’d be particularly well-equipped to provide. From stuffing envelopes to construction, you can find a good fit regardless of your educationor talents.
· Consideryour passions. Maximize your enthusiasm for volunteering by finding an issue that resonates with your own personal passions. By identifying your passions, you’re more likely to stay engaged with the charity and be a more effective volunteer.
· Determineyour availability. Make a realistic estimate of how much time you’re willing to give. It’s better to volunteer the amount of time you can reasonably handle.
· Do your research. Just as you would before making a cash donation, research the charity fully before you volunteer to make sure the organization has a commitment to standards and accountability.You can view BBB WGA Standards for Charitable Accountability for free at www.bbb.org/charity.
· Commit to stick with it. If early attemptsat volunteering weren’t a good fit, keep at it and look for new opportunitiesto give back. In a tough economy, charities need the support of volunteers more than ever.
For more information on how to be a savvy consumer and donor, go to www.bbb.org. To report a fraud orscam, call the BBB Hotline: (903)581-8373.