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Harvey Relief: Experts Offer Advice On Choosing Wisely Where To Donate

When considering which charities to give to for Harvey relief, experts recommend supporting long-term recovery efforts — and avoiding organizations that use high-pressure tactics.

Volunteers sort through donated clothing at a shelter in the George R. Brown Convention Center in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey on August 28 in Houston.

If you’re trying to figure out what charity to give to after Hurricane Harvey, Daniel Borochoff of Charity Watch, a website that rates charities on how reputable and generous they are, has a rule of thumb.

“It’s important not to give on the basis of celebrity connection,” Borochoff says.

He also says if you plan on giving, it’s best to give to long-term recovery efforts like rebuilding, job training and counseling.

“We don’t just accept what the charity reports, we actually do a deep dive [analysis] to figure out how your money is really being spent,” he says.

They do that by analyzing charities’ tax forms and audited financial statements.

Leah Napoliello, with the Better Business Bureau in Houston, she says there are some red flags to be aware of when choosing where to donate.

“You want to be cautious of anyone using high-pressure tactics to get you to donate, so they may say you have to give right one the spot,” she says. “Maybe they call you or approach you and request a cash donation right on the spot.”

Napoliello says the Better Business Bureau requires charities to spend at least 65 percent on their programs.

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