Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

November 7, 2013

BBB offers tips for donations to veterans groups

Hendricks County Flyer

— Nov. 11 is Veterans Day, a day to honor those who serve and have served in the armed services.

According to the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance, the national charity monitoring organization, donations to veterans and military-affiliated charities are always high around Veterans Day and throughout the holiday season.

Since 2007, a larger percentage of nationally-soliciting veterans and military-affiliated charities are disclosing information and meeting the BBB standards for charity accountability. These charities are being more open about their finances and solicitation activities.

“We are here to help the public make informed decisions about the organizations they want to support, and we are excited to see more charities meeting our standards,” said H. Art Taylor, president and CEO of BBB Wise Giving Alliance. “While veterans groups still have more accountability work to do, we are encouraged to see that they are marching in the right direction.”

“Members of the military deserve to benefit as much as possible from the charitable organizations established to offer them resources and assistance,” said Tim Maniscalo, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Central Indiana. “In order to do that, consumers still need to do their research and make certain the charities they choose to support meet the BBB’s standards to ensure donations go where they are supposed to.”

The BBB Wise Giving Alliance offers the following advice when giving to veterans and military-affiliated organizations:

For military consumers and their families, the Better Business Bureau also offers the BBB Military Line, a consumer education and advocacy program for active and retired military and their family members.

Military consumers are often the targets of specific scams, such as those involving military discounts and incentives and phony jury duty summons. The BBB Military Line provides services and resources to military communities in the areas of financial literary and consumer protection.

A list of Veterans Service Organizations (VSO) is available online at va.gov/vso/ and information about Military Service Organizations (MSO) at militaryonesource.mil. Then, research the charity at give.org.

To report a scam or sign up for BBB Scam Alerts, go to bbb.org/scam. To check the reliability of a company, visit indy.bbb.org/Find-Business-Reviews, and to find trustworthy businesses, visit bbb.org/indianapolis/accredited-business-directory/.