BBB of WESTERN MICHIGAN, INC
News Release #080210
Contact: Ken Vander Meeden
616-774-8236 or Email: email@example.com
You Too Can Donate Like a Billionaire
BBB recommends donors research charities
fully before they give - just like billionaires do
August 9, 2010 - Grand Rapids, MI - Forty billionaires have pledged to donate a substantial portion of their wealth to charity with the hope of inspiring others to donate to worthy causes as well. While the dollar amount might be less, the BBB National and Local Charity programs encourages everyone to give like a billionaire by researching any charity fully before making a donation.
“Every experienced philanthropist has a thorough process for vetting charities in order to determine which worthy causes will be able to stretch their dollar the farthest,” said Ken Vander Meeden, President of the BBB Serving Western Michigan. “While we aren’t all billionaires, we can all give like one. Evaluating the effectiveness of a charity is more than just looking at the fundraising and administrative costs. Transparency, impact, and accountability are also important factors that everyone should consider before they give.”
The BBB recommends the following five steps to give like a billionaire:
• Take the time to check the organization out with the BBB Wise Giving Alliance and the Local Charity Review (LCR) program in western Michigan. Don’t be pressured to give before you do your research.
• Consider more than just the charity’s finances. Impressive financial ratios are not a guarantee that a charity is being run ethically and effectively. Review the BBB’s Standards for Charity Accountability to identify fundamental features of an accountable organization.
• Don't be fooled by names that look impressive or that closely resemble the name of a well-known organization. Sometimes name similarity is used as a ruse to confuse the potential donor.
• Watch out for appeals that focus solely on a problem but don’t clearly explain what the charity intends to do about it. The charity’s intended program activities should be spelled out.
• If you want to consider donating to a newly established charity, take the time to review the charity’s program plans including its board approved budget. Make sure that it has the capacity to be able to follow through on its intended objectives.
For more advice on how to give like a billionaire, Ken Vander Meeden, local BBB President, stated:
“Charitable giving in the US is a $300 billion dollar industry; research, review, and then donate.”