Northwest NEWS

December 6, 1999


BBB can help with charitable giving decisions

   The holidays are the traditional time for charitable giving. In fact, 40 percent of charitable donations are made during the last six weeks of the year.

   The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is offering free information this holiday season to encourage donors to give with their heads, as well as their hearts.

   Charities are evaluated in four key areas: public accountability, solicitation practices, governance, and use of funds (e.g., a reasonable percentage, $50 or more must be applied to program services directly benefiting the cause of the organization).

   The Better Business Bureau offers reports on individual charitable organizations, and provides comprehensive information in two brochures. For more information on charities based in Oregon and Western Washington, the BBB's "Wise Giving Guide" is available, and for information on national charities, donors can request the Council of Better Business Bureau's "Give, but Give Wisely." These brochures will tell consumers and businesses which charities meet or don't meet BBB standards and what percentage of funds is spent on the actual cause.

   To obtain a charity report or to request copies of the brochures, call 206-431-2222 or send e-mail to