Due to fictitious charities and fraudulent solicitors, charity accountability issues have surfaced in recent years. Legitimate organizations are concerned about building trust and assuring donors that they are operating responsibly.
Through BBB Foundation, Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington conducts its Charity Review Program to foster public confidence in charitable organizations.
While some charity watchdogs confine their reports to finances, BBB looks at more than just "the numbers." BBB's 20 Standards of Charity Accountability evaluate organizations on: governance, fundraising practices, solicitations and informational materials, as well as how money is allocated. In doing so, the Charity Review Program serves as a resource and research tool for prospective donors to make sound giving decisions.
Organizations that meet the Standards of Accountability are eligible to participate in the Charity Seal Holder Program and display the recognizable Charity Seal on their promotional materials. Many local organizations meet BBB's standards; some have become verified BBB Charity Seal Holders.
Charity Reviews are available for free at www.bbb.org/us/Charity-Reviews. BBB Yellow Pages are also available with Wise Giving Guides, which include: Charity Review Standards, useful donor tips, and a chart with report evaluations on local organizations. Contact BBBFoundation@thebbb.org to learn more about Charity Review and the Charity Seal Holder Program.
Before donating this season, read Holidays: The Time For Smart Giving.