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BBB gives Tips for Donating to Kentucky, Other Areas Hit by Storms

Better Business Bureau - BBBNashville, TNBetter Business Bureau (BBB), serving Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky, wants to remind people who would like to help those in Kentucky and other states begin to recover from the damage caused by severe storms and multiple tornadoes about the best ways to give. 
“Our hearts go out to those who have been affected by the deadly storms and tornadoes that occurred last Friday night and Saturday morning,” says Robyn Householder, President and CEO of BBB serving Middle TN and Southern KY.

“In our region, we all understand the damage that these types of storms can cause. Many of us have lived through this type of damage and are eager to find ways to help, so we want to remind people of the best practices for giving,” Householder stated.
BBB’s Give.org recommends before making a contribution or sending a donation to verify if the charity they choose to support meets the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability.
Instead of clicking on links that others may send in texts and social media, consider making a cash donation directly through the charity’s website. This is likely the fastest way of sending help in an emergency.

In-kind donations of supplies may be well-intended but can sometimes be difficult and costly to manage if the charity does not already have an established means to help distribute them to those in need.

Shelters and Emergency Centers

To help locate available shelters and other assistance, the two following organizations are a good place to start as they have local affiliates around the country:

Food Banks


Crowdfunding campaigns are already being set up for those in need. While some may be drawn to providing direct assistance to individuals, BBB Wise Giving Alliance recommends the following tips:

Give to people and organizations you know. It is safest to give to crowdfunding postings of people you know. If that is not possible, consider a posting that is being managed by an established charitable organization that can be checked out.

  • Not all crowdfunding sites operate alike. Some crowdfunding platforms do a better job of vetting postings and projects that appear on their site than others. Review the site’s description of its procedures. If they do take precautions, they generally announce that fact loudly to help encourage giving.
  • See if the posting describes how funds will be used. Vague descriptions of how the collected funds will be used should also be a yellow caution light. Thoughtful collections will take the added step of identifying and verifying needs before the money is raised.
  • Don’t assume pictures represent an official connection to the person or family identified. Unfortunately, some crowdfunding postings may be using pictures of needy individuals without their permission. As a result, you can’t assume an official connection. Again, each site has different rules on what they allow.

  • Your contribution may not be deductible as a charitable gift. If a crowdfunding posting is claiming to be helping a specific named individual or family, donors in the U.S. generally cannot take a federal income tax deduction, even if the individual or family is in need. See IRS Publication 526, for more information on this subject. 

About BBB of Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky

For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands, and charities they can trust. BBB provides objective advice, BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.3 million companies, 11,000 charity reviewsdispute resolution servicesalerts, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Visit bbb.org for more information.

There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Middle TN and Southern KY, which was founded in 1961 and serves 45 counties in Middle TN and Southern KY.

Visit bbb.org for more information.


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