Today is Giving Tuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back, and many will use this day to donate to their favorite cause or charity as part of their holiday giving.

With that in mind, the Better Business Bureau is urging people to give wisely.

The Northeast Georgia Better Business Bureau Sr. VP Mike Boynton tells WLHR News people should be very careful when considering where to donate their money not only during the holidays, but all year round.

First, he says watch out for name similarities.

“There are some charities with very similar names that may be confused with a well-known charity,” he said. “So, know exactly who you are dealing with; the exact name of the organization so you can make sure you donate to the right charity.”

Another good rule of thumb he said is to donate to organizations that you would donate to at other times of the year and avoid those groups who call you on the phone and use high-pressure tactics to get your money.

Boynton said don’t fall for emotional appeals. Marketers have been known to exploit the holidays to make emotional pleas to donors.

“You might get a call from an unfamiliar organization and you might be pressed to make a donation, Boyton said. “Resist that pressure to make an immediate donation. Check out the organization. Be aware of any emotional appeal.”

Before donating to any charity, Boynton said do your homework and get as much information as possible on any group you are considering donating to.

“It’s always a good idea to review the website of the charity. Many states do require charities to be registered,” Boynton noted. “It will list some excellent information. It will state their mission, their goals, the programs of the organization, and how they use their monies.”

In Georgia, charities are regulated by the Secretary of State’s office under the Georgia Charitable Solicitations Act of 1988.

Finally, never give out your credit card or bank account numbers over the phone and don’t be fooled by organization names that closely resemble the names of well-known organizations but are not that actual organization.

For more information, go online to or check out national charities by going to