September 27, 2017

Wise Giving Wednesday: The Heart of Accountability

One of the key objectives of our evaluations of publicly-soliciting charities in relation to the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability is to help donors verify the trustworthiness of these organizations. Trust is the concept that captures the heart of this goal.

This goal is distinctively different than the role of government regulators that generally focus on rooting out bad actors engaged in deceptive or abusive practices. While our evaluations may capture some elements of serious problems (for example, significant conflicts of interest transactions or misleading appeals,) they seek to identify broader, basic trust practices that a majority of charities are able to meet:

  • Is the charity‚Äôs governing board active, independent and free of self-dealing?
  • Does the charity periodically asses how well it is addressing its mission and making necessary course corrections?
  • Does the organization spend its funds honestly, prudently and in accordance with statements made in appeals?
  • Are its solicitations and other public communications accurate?
  • Does it demonstrate transparency by providing free access to basic information?

These fundamental verifications capture what the BBB Charity Standards are all about and most everyone would agree are universal in their importance to charities. We hope you keep these broad concepts in mind when you review our charity reports in order to place our evaluative conclusions in the proper context.

We also encourage you to review how we apply each of our 20 standards by reviewing the Implementation Guide available in the following link. We seek to be fully transparent not only in the intent of these standards but also in how we carry our this work.

Video of the Week

As part of our Building Trust Video series, we are pleased to provide a video featuring Michael King, President & CEO, Volunteers of America (a BBB Accredited Charity) which is a faith-based organization that works to help those in need live healthy, safe and productive lives. The organization's programs are designed to support seniors, people with disabilities, at-risk youth, men and women returning from prison, homeless individuals and families, those recovering from addictions, and military veterans. 

Recent Reports

We are always working with charities to publish or update reports for donors. Visit or local BBBs to check out any charity before giving. Our recently evaluated charities include:

Finally, remember to let us know by going to if you are interested in seeing a report on a charity not on the list and we will do our best to produce one.   

H. Art Taylor, President & CEO
BBB Wise Giving Alliance