Action Line Consumer Alert: Choosing a charity

Hawaii Better Business Bureau President/CEO Gregory Dunn

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Many in Hawaii like to donate to charities, but it’s hard to know if the money you give goes directly to the cause.

“Some of the things that folks should look for is what community does the charity support who do they reach out to,” Hawaii Better Business Bureau President/CEO Gregory D. Dunn said.

Hawaii Better Business Bureau President and CEO Gregory Dunn says they’re partnering with a new campaign.

On Guidestar.org, consumers can look up a particular charity and find out how donations are spent.

“One of the big things in the community that people are often misinformed about is that charities should have low overhead,” Dunn said.

He says, on the website, you can pull down a form to find out important information like who’s on the board of directors, and how big their salaries are.

“Also look for things as investments the charity makes in their staff. One of the many important things that you look for in administrative overhead is the training of staff and also some governance. Charities need people working in the offices to ensure that they’re complying with all the requirements that state and federal governments place on them,” Dunn said.

The Hawaii BBB says the campaign will hopefully educate consumers about expenses or “overhead” that’s necessary to ensure the charity’s worthiness.

“We have so many different needs in our community that are met by the charities that are doing good work.  Make sure that that charity is doing the work that you want to represent,” Dunn said.

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