BBB analyzes charities before donation season

By Amy Davis - Reporter/Consumer Expert

HOUSTON - The season of giving is here. Many charities are hoping for your donations, but how do you know which charities are the best to give to?

A recent study by Charity Navigator found charities that count on your generosity receive, on average, 41 percent of contributions during the last few weeks of the year. It's why the Houston Better Business Bureau analyzes hundreds of charities to help you decide where to give.

The BBB reaches out to nonprofit organizations and asks them to provide financial information so you will know what the charity does with your donations. Each charity either passes or fails. If the nonprofit doesn't bother to respond, the BBB tells you that, too.

There are 20 standards the BBB uses to measure charities, including giving at least 65 percent of donations to the actual cause. Some notable charities that passed this year are Goodwill Industries of Houston, The 100 Club, the Houston SPCA, Boys & Girls Country and Northwest Assistance Ministries.

Rick Hartley with The 100 Club shared some useful advice.

"Never allow a telephone solicitor to come to your house to receive a donation," Hartley warned.

The representative for the Houston SPCA said if you want your dollars to help in your community, remember to donate to a local chapter and not to the national organization. The American SPCA is independent and donations to that organization do not trickle down to smaller SPCA's.

To see the list of charities that passed and failed this year and to search for any charity, click here.

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