Find out where your charitable donation is actually going

A sinking boat is surrounded by debris in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma at Sundance Marine in Palm Shores, Fla., Monday, Sept. 11, 2017 (Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel via AP)

Over the last few months, charities have played an especially important role in helping those affected by the recent natural disasters.

The images of destruction left behind by hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, and the recent earthquakes in Mexico have left many in shock.

Help has poured in from around the world with many opening their wallets and giving to charity.

The Hawaii Better Business Bureau says the large number of organizations asking for donations can leave some wondering where their money is actually going.

“When people donate money to charities, I think there’s an assumption that 100-percent of that money goes directly towards what they’re saying that they’re collecting the money for,” said Jason Kama, Hawaii Better Business Bureau director of marketing.

How can you be sure that the money you’re donating to a charity is being used appropriately? is a website run by the BBB where you can find out how a charity operates and if it’s accredited. You can also find out its financial status, including how the organization uses its money.

“There are things like administrative costs, marketing costs, and you’ll be able to see those outlined on in order to make a better decision of supporting one organization or the other,” Kama said.

If you’re looking to support earthquake victims in Mexico or Hurricane Maria, the BBB has put together a list of charities that meet its standards for charity accountability.

Click here for more information.

If you have a consumer concern or are interested in becoming an Action Line volunteer, give us a call at 591-0222 weekdays between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. or send an email to

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