Wise Giving Wednesday: Five Things to Know Before Donating to Hurricane Ian Relief

By H. Art Taylor
President & CEO BBB Wise Giving Alliance
Sep 28, 2022

Last week it was Hurricane Fiona hitting Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, this week it’s Hurricane Ian threatening the West Coast of Florida. Although initially targeting Tampa, Hurricane Ian is predicted to go further south towards Port Charlotte, Florida. In preparation, some areas are evacuating while others are sand-bagging and stocking up on supplies. The storm is a Category 4 and is expected to have a devastating storm surge. To assist donors seeking to support relief efforts, BBB Wise Giving Alliance is providing the following giving tips along with a list of BBB Accredited Charities (i.e., those that meet all 20 of the BBB Charity Standards) that are soliciting for Hurricane Ian activities. 

  1. Is the disaster appeal clear? The contribution request should clearly identify what disaster relief activities you are supporting. There are many possibilities such as temporary shelter, food, medical care and other emergency needs. Don’t assume what they do based solely on the group’s name.
  2. Does the charity already have a presence in the impacted area?  Charities that already have support staff in the impacted areas are more likely to deliver help quickly at a time of immediate need.
  3. Is the charity an experienced relief organization? Experienced relief organizations will be able to provide help with greater speed and efficiency than a newly created effort.
  4. If considering crowdfunding, do you know its procedures? Some crowdfunding sites take measures to vet postings after a disaster, others don’t. Review the site’s policies and procedures to find out. If in doubt, it is always safest to donate to people who you personally know and trust.
  5. Does the organization meet the 20 BBB Charity Standards? We recommend donating to charities that meet all 20 of the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability. Visit BBB’s Give.org to access free evaluative reports on charities.

The following organizations are BBB Accredited Charities (i.e., meet the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability) and currently announced on their respective websites that they are collecting funds to assist Hurricane Ian relief efforts. Additional BBB Accredited Charities will be added as we learn about their Ian-related activities.

American Red Cross – Hurricane Ian Activities

Direct Relief – Hurricane Ian Activities

GlobalGiving – Hurricane Ian Activities

Heart to Heart International – Hurricane Ian Activities

Operation USA – Hurricane Ian Activities

Salvation Army – Hurricane Ian Activities

Save the Children – Hurricane Ian Activities

ABOUT BBB WISE GIVING ALLIANCE: BBB Wise Giving Alliance (BBB’s Give.org) is a standards-based charity evaluator that seeks to verify the trustworthiness of nationally soliciting charities by completing rigorous evaluations based on 20 holistic standards that address charity governance, results reporting, finances, fundraising, appeal accuracy and other issues. National charity reports are produced by BBB’s Give.org and local charity reports are produced by local Better Business Bureaus – all reports are available at Give.org.


Video of the Week

As part of our Building Trust Video Series, we are pleased to revisit a video interview featuring Saleem Zaru, Executive Director, United Palestinian Appeal (a BBB Accredited Charity) that works to assist impoverished Palestinians through its four program areas: community and economic development, education, health and wellness, and outreach. The organization states that it launches its own programs and builds long-term relationships with partners in Palestinian territories, the refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan, and the world at large.  


Heart of Giving Podcast

This week’s Heart of Giving Podcast offers an interview with Tim Kachuriak, the Founder and Chief Innovation and Optimization Officer for NextAfter, a fundraising research lab consultancy, and training institute that works with charities and other nonprofits to help them grow their resource capacity. (Note: This episode of the Heart of Giving Podcast is made possible with the generous support of B Generous, a firm that enables donors to give now and pay later.)


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