BBB Cautions On Fundraising To Assist Cleveland Kidnap Victims - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

BBB Cautions On Fundraising To Assist Cleveland Kidnap Victims

BBB Cautions on Fundraising to Assist Cleveland Kidnap Victims  

The rescue last week of three women and a child from a Cleveland home where they were held captive for a decade has gained worldwide attention. Generous donors wishing to help the victims are being cautioned by Better Business Bureau to confirm the legitimacy of all charitable fundraising and crowd funding efforts.  

"A tragedy of this nature that is the focus of high profile media attention inspires people to give," says David Weiss, president and CEO of BBB of Greater Cleveland, "but, unfortunately, also catches the attention of scammers who try to take advantage of well-meaning generosity."  

BBB Wise Giving Alliance has seen charity scams following all recent natural disasters and manmade tragedies, and encourages donors to balance their generosity with thoughtfulness and research. "Try to avoid making emotional giving decisions," says H. Art Taylor, President and CEO of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, "The first request for a donation may not be the best choice. Check with the BBB to help avoid questionable fundraising efforts."  

BBB also reminds consumers that donations made through crowd funding websites are usually considered gifts to the recipients and are not tax deductible unless the group receiving the funds is a 501(c)(3) organization as designated by the Internal Revenue Service.  

BBB urges consumers to make wise choices with their donations:

1.) Respond thoughtfully. Take the time to check out the charity to avoid wasting your generosity by donating to a questionable or poorly managed effort. The first request for a donation may not be the best choice. Be proactive and find trusted charities that are providing assistance.

2.) Respect the victims and their families. Organizations raising funds should get permission from the families to use either the names of the victims and/or any photographs of them. Some charities raising funds for the Colorado movie theater and Newtown school victims did not do this and were the subject of criticism from victims' families.

3.) Registration confirmation. About 40 of the 50 states require charities to register with a state government agency (usually a division of the State Attorney General's office) before they solicit for charitable gifts. If the charity is not registered, that may be a significant red flag. For example, Ohio requires charities to register with the Office of the Attorney General before they solicit for charitable gifts.

4.) Results should be shared. After funds are raised for a tragedy, it is even more important for organizations to provide an accounting of how funds were spent. Transparent organizations will post this information on their websites so that anyone can find out and not have to wait until the audited financial statements are available sometime in the future.

5.) Retail sale disclosures. If any items are being sold (such as t-shirts, etc.) in the context that their sales will benefit the victims, look for a disclosure that states the actual or anticipated amount of the purchase that will benefit the a specified charity and, if applicable, any minimums or maximums being raised (e.g. up to $100,000) as well as campaign term limits (e.g. during the month of May).

6.) Remember Online Giving Cautions. Never click on links to charities on unfamiliar websites or in texts or emails. These may take you to a lookalike website where you will be asked to provide personal financial information or to click on something that downloads harmful malware into your computer. Don't assume that charity recommendations on Facebook, blogs or other social media have already been vetted. Also, websites that enable individuals to raise funds (known as crowd funding sites) can be established very quickly but may not have oversight procedures in place to ensure that funds will be used as promised (for example, establishing a CPA, bank or other respected third party to receive collected donations and help distribute funds to victims).

7.) Review BBB Charity Reports. Find out if the subject charity meets the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability. Visit give.org for reports on nationally soliciting charities and bbb.org for information on regionally soliciting organizations.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: The Cleveland Foundation has set up the Cleveland Courage Fund for the victims. The organization is a community foundation that has been supporting various Cleveland area projects since 1914.  

BBB Wise Giving Alliance is asking anyone who receives a suspicious charitable solicitation to report it to BBB Report a Scam.  

ABOUT BBB WISE GIVING ALLIANCE: BBB Wise Giving Alliance produces reports on over 1,200 nationally soliciting charitable organizations, and local BBBs report on another 10,000 local and regional charities. BBB Wise Giving Alliance does not rank charities but rather seeks to assist donors in making informed judgments by providing objective evaluations of national charities based on 20 standards that address charity governance, finances, fund raising, appeal accuracy, and other issues. The outcomes of the evaluations are available online at give.org. BBB Wise Giving Alliance is an affiliate of the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Spokane man intervenes in terrifying case of road rage

    Spokane man intervenes in terrifying case of road rage

    Thursday, September 21 2017 2:23 AM EDT2017-09-21 06:23:54 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A terrifying case of road rage could have gotten much worse if it hadn't been for a total stranger. The man went from a spectator to a participant in a matter of seconds. Once James Williams saw there were kids involved in this potentially dangerous situation, the former Marine Corps. medic said he had to do whatever he could do to help.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A terrifying case of road rage could have gotten much worse if it hadn't been for a total stranger. The man went from a spectator to a participant in a matter of seconds. Once James Williams saw there were kids involved in this potentially dangerous situation, the former Marine Corps. medic said he had to do whatever he could do to help.

    >>
  • Coeur d’Alene Police search for armed robbery suspect

    Thursday, September 21 2017 9:35 AM EDT2017-09-21 13:35:12 GMT

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Coeur d’Alene Police are searching for an armed robbery suspect who entered a grocery store demanding money from the clerk at gunpoint. The robbery occurred around 9pm Wednesday at Jordan's Grocery in the 1000 block of N. 15th street. The suspect male entered the store with a handgun and demanded money from the clerk who removed all the cash from the register and gave it to the suspect.

    >>

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Coeur d’Alene Police are searching for an armed robbery suspect who entered a grocery store demanding money from the clerk at gunpoint. The robbery occurred around 9pm Wednesday at Jordan's Grocery in the 1000 block of N. 15th street. The suspect male entered the store with a handgun and demanded money from the clerk who removed all the cash from the register and gave it to the suspect.

    >>
  • Family, friends remember artist killed in I-90 crash

    Family, friends remember artist killed in I-90 crash

    Wednesday, September 20 2017 11:13 PM EDT2017-09-21 03:13:49 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - When Ryan Foster received the tragic news about losing his sister in a crash on Interstate 90, he couldn’t believe it. He was all the way back east in Jersey City, New Jersey, and got on a plane as fast as he could "Just shock, disbelief. I mean there's still a great deal of it, but at this point it's just about remembering her," said Ryan. 24-year-old Michaelanne Foster is being remembered as a talented artist and a loving and caring sister.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - When Ryan Foster received the tragic news about losing his sister in a crash on Interstate 90, he couldn’t believe it. He was all the way back east in Jersey City, New Jersey, and got on a plane as fast as he could "Just shock, disbelief. I mean there's still a great deal of it, but at this point it's just about remembering her," said Ryan. 24-year-old Michaelanne Foster is being remembered as a talented artist and a loving and caring sister.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • National NewsMore>>

  • Council member gives opponent ABC (already been chewed) gum

    Council member gives opponent ABC (already been chewed) gum

    Thursday, September 21 2017 8:09 PM EDT2017-09-22 00:09:26 GMT

    MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (AP) - A Minneapolis City Council member has given one of her opponents something to chew over - a piece of chewed gum. Twenty-year incumbent Lisa Goodman took the gum out of her mouth and handed it to challenger Teqen Zea-Aida before the start of a candidate forum Tuesday. Goodman asked Zea-Aida: "Would you take my gum, please?" Goodman tells the Star Tribune she couldn't find any paper to get rid 

    >>

    MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (AP) - A Minneapolis City Council member has given one of her opponents something to chew over - a piece of chewed gum. Twenty-year incumbent Lisa Goodman took the gum out of her mouth and handed it to challenger Teqen Zea-Aida before the start of a candidate forum Tuesday. Goodman asked Zea-Aida: "Would you take my gum, please?" Goodman tells the Star Tribune she couldn't find any paper to get rid 

    >>
  • The Latest: Kim says Trump will 'pay dearly' for threat

    The Latest: Kim says Trump will 'pay dearly' for threat

    Thursday, September 21 2017 7:53 PM EDT2017-09-21 23:53:30 GMT
    The Latest: Kim says Trump will 'pay dearly' for threatThe Latest: Kim says Trump will 'pay dearly' for threat

    NEW YORK (AP) - The Latest on President Donald Trump and North Korea (all times local): 7:30 p.m. President Donald Trump has added economic action to his fiery military threats against North Korea, authorizing stiffer new sanctions in response to the Koreans' nuclear weapons advances. Its leader Kim Jong Un issued a rare statement, branding Trump as "deranged" and warning he will "pay dearly" his threat to "totally destroy" the North if it attacks. The e...

    >>

    NEW YORK (AP) - The Latest on President Donald Trump and North Korea (all times local): 7:30 p.m. President Donald Trump has added economic action to his fiery military threats against North Korea, authorizing stiffer new sanctions in response to the Koreans' nuclear weapons advances. Its leader Kim Jong Un issued a rare statement, branding Trump as "deranged" and warning he will "pay dearly" his threat to "totally destroy" the North if it attacks. The e...

    >>
  • Better late than never? Library book returned 78 years later

    Better late than never? Library book returned 78 years later

    Thursday, September 21 2017 7:49 PM EDT2017-09-21 23:49:23 GMT
    Better late than never? Library book returned 78 years laterBetter late than never? Library book returned 78 years later

    ATTLEBORO, Mass.(AP) - It took nearly 80 years, but a book borrowed during the Great Depression has been returned to a Massachusetts public library. The Attleboro Public Library posted on its Facebook page Thursday pictures of a copy of "The Young Lady at Home," by T.S. Arthur. The book was returned this week. The due date stamped at the back of the book? Nov. 21, 1938. Library deputy director Amy Rhilinger tells WPRI-TV a man 

    >>

    ATTLEBORO, Mass.(AP) - It took nearly 80 years, but a book borrowed during the Great Depression has been returned to a Massachusetts public library. The Attleboro Public Library posted on its Facebook page Thursday pictures of a copy of "The Young Lady at Home," by T.S. Arthur. The book was returned this week. The due date stamped at the back of the book? Nov. 21, 1938. Library deputy director Amy Rhilinger tells WPRI-TV a man 

    >>