As the Syrian refugee crisis continues to grow, The Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance is warning donors to be cautious when giving money.
"Tragedies generate public sympathy but unfortunately also attract scam fund raising efforts," H. Art Taylor, president and CEO of BBB WGA, said in a news release. "We are reminding contributors to be on the lookout for questionable solicitors and recommend that they focus giving efforts on charities that already have a presence in the impacted areas."
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Be cautious about online giving, especially in response to spam messages and emails that claim to link to a relief organization. Instead, go directly to the charity's web site.
You should also be wary of claims that 100 percent of donations will assist victims-- charities still have administrative and fundraising costs.
It's also a good idea to find out if the charity has an on-the-ground presence in affected areas. Some charities may be raising money to pass along to relief organizations. If so, you may want to consider giving directly to those that have a presence in the region, the BBB says.
The following organizations are collecting funds for Syrian refugee relief and meet all of the BBB Charity Standards:
- CARE USA
- Catholic Relief Services
- Church World Service
- Concern Worldwide US
- Helping Hand for Relief and Development
- International Medical Corps
- International Rescue Committee
- Islamic Relief USA
- Lutheran World Relief
- Medical Teams International
- Mennonite Central Committee
- Mercy Corps
- Oxfam America
- Plan International USA
- Save the Children
- United States Fund for UNICEF
- World Food Program USA
- World Relief
- World Vision