BBB Wise Giving Alliance Joins FTC, State Regulators for Major Charity Fraud Announcement

BBB WGA Offers Tips to Avoid Deception

May 19, 2015, 12:30 ET from BBB Wise Giving Alliance

ARLINGTON, Va., May 19, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- BBB Wise Giving Alliance (BBB WGA) joined the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), State Attorneys General, and State Charity Regulators today to help donors avoid questionable fundraising. The FTC announced a major action against three national charities, Cancer Fund of America, Children's Cancer Fund of America, and Breast Cancer Society due to severe transgressions in the organizations' fundraising, financial reporting, and board oversight. These charities broke the trust of their donors and the public. This action reinforces the importance for donors to check out charities before they make a donation so that they can avoid future deception.  

"We applaud the action taken by the FTC to root out deceptive charities and help educate donors on the issues of charity trustworthiness and accountability," said H. Art Taylor, president and CEO of the BBB WGA. 

Trustworthy charities meet 20 holistic standards set forth in the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability that address adequate board oversight, results that correspond with a charity's mission, financial accountability, and transparent and accurate donor communications.   

"This case shows the need for charity standards to help guide both donors and charities," comments Taylor. "The three charities in question were not accredited by the BBB WGA.  Despite repeated written request, two of them (Cancer Fund of America and Children's Cancer Fund of America) did not provide BBB WGA with requested detailed information and although the third (Breast Cancer Society) provided information, BBB WGA concluded that it did not meet several BBB Charity Standards and did not respond to questions BBB WGA raised about its activities."

Top four tips for donors to protect their donation of time and money:

Seek out additional facts. Search online to obtain program, financial and other information to make a more informed giving decision.

Be cautious when responding to phone appeals. Never be pressured to make an immediate, on-the-spot contribution decision.

Watch out for excessive fundraising expenses. While most charities have reasonable fundraising expenses, less than 35% of total contributions received in the past year, some charities exceed this threshold due to poor financial management.

Research before giving. Use the easy-to-read reports at to verify the trustworthiness of a charity. Only donate to Accredited Charities – organizations meeting the 20 "BBB Standards for Charity Accountability."

BBB Wise Giving Alliance (BBB WGA) is a standards-based charity evaluator that seeks to verify the trustworthiness of nationally-soliciting charities by completing rigorous evaluations based on 20 holistic standards that address charity governance, effectiveness reporting, finances, fundraising, appeal accuracy, and other issues. National charity reports are produced by the BBB WGA and local charity reports are produced by local Better Business Bureaus – all reports are available at


SOURCE BBB Wise Giving Alliance