Wise Giving Wednesday: Celebrities & Charities

By H. Art Taylor
President & CEO BBB Wise Giving Alliance
Jul 17, 2020

The Golden Globes. The Grammys.  The Oscars.  As January and February are the heart of awards season for movie stars and recording artists, we are reminded that many celebrities also use this time to help bring attention to their favorite causes and charities.  All of us have the potential of being star-struck and drawn to organizations supported by those we admire. So, we thought we would share some advice to help donors make informed decisions when celebrities encourage contributions: 

1. Don’t rely on a celebrity as the sole indicator of a charity’s reliability. Famed personalities know how to please audiences but not necessarily how to vet charities.  

2. Be wary of newly established charities that as yet offer little beyond a celebrity connection.  

3. Length and depth of service to a charity are useful indicators of a celebrities altruistic credibility, but in giving decisions, it’s the charity that must gain your confidence.     

4. A celebrity’s spokesperson’s missteps or misbehavior need not tarnish the name of the sponsoring charity. Weigh the whole situation and how it’s handled.

5. Of course, don’t forget to check if the charity meets the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability.

For additional advice on this subject, see our past Wise Giving Guide cover story on this topic. 

BBB Wise Giving Alliance believes that the more information that is available to donors, the better informed they are in making their contribution decisions. 

On a separate note, as part of our Building Trust Video Series we are pleased to provide a video that features Besa Pinchotti, Communications Director of the National Military Family Association (a BBB Accredited Charity).  The NMFA is an organization that works to strengthen and protect Uniformed Services families through its advocacy activities and programs that include spouse scholarships, camps for military kids, and retreats for families reconnecting after deployment and the families of the wounded, ill and injured. 

We are always working with charities to publish or update reports for donors. Visit Give.org or local BBBs to check out any charity before giving. Our recently evaluated charities include:  

Finally, remember to let us know by going to https://www.give.org/ask-us-about-a-charity1/ if you are  interested in seeing a report on a charity not on the list and we will do our best to produce one.

H. Art Taylor, President & CEO
BBB Wise Giving Alliance

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