Hawai‘i’s residences are often targeted by door-to-door solicitors asking for donations. Here in Hawai‘i, we are a generous people. We take pride in living the Aloha Spirit, but we must exercise caution as well. We must know the basic things about charitable giving in the event that anyone tries to take advantage of our good nature. Hawai‘i’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) suggests that you:
- Find out how your charitable contributions are being used.
- Beware of appeals that bring tears to your eyes but tell you little about what the charity is doing about the problem it describes so well.
- Watch out for statements such as “all proceeds will go to the charity.” This can mean that only the money left after expenses, such as the cost of written materials and fund raising efforts, will go to the charity. These expenses can be high, so check carefully.
- Check with Hawai‘i’s BBB for information on local charities and solicitors operating in Hawai‘i. Let the BBB’s resources work for you. Check out a business or charity at www.hawaii.bbb.org
Give with the knowledge that those soliciting have an obligation to be transparent to the public. Be assured that you are making informed decisions, and have the confidence that every donation you make is positively impacting lives. When in doubt about any charity or organization, contact Hawai‘i’s Better Business Bureau for more information.
Bonnie Horibata is vice-president of Hawai‘i’s Better Business Bureau. BBB provides objective advice, business and charity reports, and information about topics affecting marketplace trust at www.bbb.org