Top 5 mistakes to avoid in donating to Typhoon Haiyan relief

Better Business Bureau warns of questionable solicitors in the wake of natural disaster in the Philippines.

Typhoon Haiyan.

As the public’s attention and hearts are focused on the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan, Better Business Bureau serving Mainland British Columbia advises donors to take steps to avoid being taken by questionable solicitors or wasting their money on poorly managed relief efforts.

The powerful typhoon that hit the Philippines over the weekend has had more than 10,000 casualties, according to the authorities.

“Often our first instinct is to donate money to help victims in these tragedies, but Canadians really need to take a step back and really know where and how their money and donations will be used,” said Danielle Primrose, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Mainland B.C.

The Better Business Bureau offers the following five tips to help Canadians decide where to direct donations:

• Mistake #1: Making a donation decision based solely on the charity’s name

Charities ranging from well-known emergency relief organizations to organizations experienced in reconstruction will likely be soliciting for various relief assistance efforts. Make sure the appeal specifies how the charity will help. If it does not, visit the charity’s website. Also, watch out for charity names that include the name of the disaster – it could be a start-up group with little experience or a questionable effort seeking to gain confidence through its title.

• Mistake #2: Collecting clothing and goods without verifying that the items can be used.

Unless you have verified that a charity is in need of specific items and has a distribution plan in place, collecting clothing, food and other goods may end up being a wasted effort. Relief organizations often prefer to purchase goods near the location of the disaster to help speed delivery and avoid expensive long distance freight costs. Also, sending non-essential items may actually slow down the charity’s ability to address urgent needs.

• Mistake #3: Sending donation to inexperienced relief efforts

Good intentions alone are not enough to carry out relief activities effectively. If the charity has not previously been involved in disaster relief, or does not have experience in assisting the overseas nation(s) that have been impacted, this likely will hamper their ability to work well in the affected areas.

• Mistake #4: Responding to online and social media appeals without checking

Don’t let your guard down just because the appeal is online. Don’t assume that since a third-party blog, website or friend recommended a relief charity that it has been thoroughly vetted. Check out the charity’s website on your own.

• Mistake #5: Donating without doing your homework

Find out if a charity meets recognized accountability standards. If you want assurance that the charity is transparent, accountable, and well managed, see if it meets the BBB Wise Giving Alliance’s 20 “Standards for Charity Accountability” by visiting give.org. The public can go to the Canadian Revenue Agency (www.cra.gc.ca/donors) to research charities and relief organizations to verify their accountability.

For more tips you can trust, visit www.mbc.bbb.org

 

Just Posted

Surrey veteran talks about the emotional side of war

Reginald Wise served in the Royal Marines in WWII

PHOTOS: White Rock marks Remembrance Day

Hundreds of people gathered Monday morning to give thanks to veterans

VIDEO: One injured in north Surrey shooting Sunday

Male victim taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries

VIDEO: Quidditch Canada’s Western Regional Championship flies into Surrey

Harry Potter-inspired event is at Hjorth Road Park

BCTF rejects mediator’s recommendations for settlement

Negotiations between B.C. teachers and the province will continue

VIDEO: Hong Kong police shoot protester, man set on fire

It was the second protester shot since the demonstrations began in early June

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Coquihalla drivers urged to be careful amid freezing rain alert

Special weather statement in effect for highways between Hope, Merritt, Kamloops and Kelowna

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

14 SeaBus cancellations, free rides for veterans from TransLink on Remembrance Day

Free rides also available for current Armed Forces members, first responders

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

‘Your vehicle burns a lot of fuel:’ Victoria drivers wake up to angry notes

‘This handbill was left on your vehicle because your vehicle burns a lot of fuel,’ notes read

Most Read