Thomas Tighe:  November 15, 2018



Learn the Red Flags to Be Aware of and How to Make
an Informed Choice on Which Charities to Give to this Season

Thomas Tighe

President and CEO, Direct Relief (nonprofit organization)


The holiday season is almost upon us, and historically, Americans tend to be more generous to charitable organizations during this time of year, especially in light of recent natural disasters that include Hurricane Michael, Hurricane Florence, and the Indonesia Earthquake. What’s more, with an increase in online donation platforms, how can people be sure that their donations are being spent in the most productive way?

Before making any donations this holiday season, donors should do their research to ensure they’re giving wisely Fortunately, there are tools to help donors make informed decisions. Independent evaluators such as Charity Navigator offer charity ratings and in-depth analysis of U.S.-based charities, with criteria including financial management and accountabiliy. Givers should also understand the cause they’re trying to support, and look for charities related to causes that they’re passionate about.

Donors should also be aware of red flags to look out for when making a charitable gift. These include:

  • Urgency: You shouldn’t be made to feel rushed into donating – a reputable organization will understand if you need a few days to decide and do some research on the charity in question.
  • Vague Details: Don’t be afraid to ask exactly how your money will be used, and what percentage of cash donations goes to people in need (vs going to payroll or telemarketing
  • Not all giving platforms are created equal: While some giving platforms like Facebook Fundraisers take 0 percent off the top, other giving platforms charge fees as high as 8 percent. Before making a donation on an online giving platform, people should read the fine print to make sure they understand how much of their donation actually makes it to the charity.

Thomas Tighe, President and CEO of Direct Relief, will be available to give your audience valuable insight into charitable giving, explain the red flags to be aware of and offer recommendations on reputable charities in your local area.

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More About Thomas Tighe: 

Thomas Tighe has served as President and CEO of Direct Relief, a nonprofit humanitarian medical organization, since October 2000. From 1995 to 2000, Tighe served as Chief of Staff and Chief Operating Officer of the Peace Corps, overseeing day-to-day operations of the agency’s worldwide programs. A 1982 graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, Tighe received a J.D. in 1985 from the University of California, Hastings College of Law and an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in May 2003. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer teacher in rural Thailand from 1986 to 1988. He was selected for the Aspen Institute’s 2003 class of Henry Crown Fellows, is on the editorial advisory board for Miller-McCune Magazine, is a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy, is an adviser to the Clinton Global Initiative, and is a former member of the Board of Directors of InterAction and Antioch University Santa Barbara.

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