Deep Bench: What to know before donating to veterans charities this Memorial Day

Published: May. 22, 2020 at 4:54 PM CDT
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Memorial Day reminds us to honor and mourn for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. To show respect on this holiday, some will choose to contribute to charities to help military service members and their families. But before you do, the Better Business Bureau has some advice for you.

Susan Bach, northeast Wisconsin regional director for the BBB out of Appleton joined NewsChannel 7 at 4 on Friday to discuss what to look out for. The first thing you should do is watch out for name confusion.

“Sometimes veterans charities have similar names with similar words, maybe just in a different order or form, so before you click on that donation button, you want to make sure you’re donating to the right charity,” she said.

Bach also mentioned the importance to identify what the charity does. Don’t assume what the veterans organization does based on their name alone. Look for a clear description of the organization’s programs in its appeals and on its website.

Also, be cautious with phone appeals. Bach said if they’re calling you, there’s a good chance it’s a professional fundraiser.

“Professional fundraisers will keep most of the money, and very little money will go to the actual charity. Don’t be pressured to give on the spot. Make sure that you ask for written details about the charity and its causes.”

Bach said you should also learn how those donations will be used, especially for non-cash donations. Sometimes the charity receives only a small portion of the resale price of the item or may have a contractual arrangement to get a flat fee for every household pick-up, no matter what the contents.

For a list of BBB-accredited veterans charities, visit

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