In January, the Better Business Bureau of East Texas will introduce a local charity review program in response to the growing demand for objective information on charities.

“As numerous questionable soliciting organizations invariably spring up around the holiday season, it is appropriate that we begin BBB’s Wise Giving Alliance program on a local level,” said Mechele Agbayani Mills, president of BBB Serving Central East Texas. “This program will offer factual reports on locally-soliciting charities, including whether an organization meets the voluntary BBB Standards for Charitable Solicitations.”

Americans are being asked now more than ever to open their hearts and pocketbooks to help the homeless, assist disaster victims, fund health research projects and support many other worthy causes. These appeals come via direct mail, telephone, in person, and, increasingly, over the Internet.

The Wise Giving Alliance program is designed to provide a way for donors at all levels to make wise giving decisions, in the face of these voluminous appeals. The program also provides charitable organizations with a means to establish their accountability to donors and potential donors by adhering to the voluntary BBB charity standards.

“We all recognize the enormous service our local nonprofit community provides to East Texas. Our goal in establishing this program is to encourage giving to worthy causes, to help donors evaluate appeals and to provide a vehicle for local charities to further their accountability to donors” said Mills.

The local charity review program supplements the reports on nationally soliciting charitable organizations that are published by the Council of Better Business Bureaus’ Wise Giving Alliance and which have long been available through the BBB. For more information about BBB’s Wise Giving Alliance, go to .