WGA-08_ABOUTSEALLICENSING_PROCESS

 

About Charity Seal Licensing

 

There is no charge to charities for the accountability assessment completed by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. Charities that are found to meet all 20 of the BBB Standards for Charitable Accountability are called BBB Accredited Charities.

BBB Accredited Charities have the option of obtaining a license, for a sliding scale annual fee, to display the BBB Accredited Charity Seal on their websites and in promotional materials. Participation in this charity seal program is wholly voluntary.

BBB Wise Giving Alliance continues to report on nationally soliciting charities that have been the subject of recent inquiries regardless of whether a charity intends to apply for the national charity seal. Reports on both those national charities that meet our standards and those that do not are accessible on Give.org and on BBB websites nationwide.

For a nationally-soliciting BBB Accredited Charity that decides to license the seal, the seal will generally apply only to the national office of the charity and not to the organizations' affiliates. However, if the national office controls the governance, finances and fundraising of their affiliates, it can arrange for the seal to be used by the local affiliates after BBB WGA has confirmed the nature of the national / affiliate relationship.

Key points in obtaining and retaining use of the seal are outlined below. Interested charities should also review the licensing agreement and the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability and contact BBB WGA if further information is needed.

Seal Application Process

STEP 1: Determining if Charity Meets All 20 BBB Charity Standards

  • BBB WGA's review process involves submitting information to BBB WGA by completing a detailed online form and sending it along with requested materials. BBB WGA reviews this information, prepares draft reports, sends invitations to comment on drafts, and if, applicable, completes correspondence and discussions with the subject charity.
  • The results of BBB WGA evaluations will be made available to the public and placed on Give.org, whether or not the charity meets the BBB Charity Standards.
  • Charities that meet all 20 BBB Standards are called BBB Accredited Charities.
  • There is no charge to the charity for this accountability assessment.

STEP 2: Licensing Agreement and Fee Arrangement

  • National charities that meet the BBB Charity Standards and wish to participate in the seal program sign a license agreement specifying the conditions for use of the seal and submit the appropriate annual fee. Fees are on a sliding scale based on the total amount of contributions received in the past year by the entity applying for the seal.
  • A charity should submit a signed license agreement and fee only after it has been informed that it currently meets the BBB Charity Standards. Fees and license agreements submitted before that conclusion is reached will be returned.

STEP 3: Determining Continuing Compliance with BBB Charity Standards

  • Generally, every 24 months, the subject national charity will need to complete a full questionnaire and submit updated supporting documents for a current review in relation to the BBB Charity Standards.
  • BBB WGA may revisit an existing evaluation conclusion at any time based on information that comes to its attention. BBB WGA will contact the subject charity for any needed clarification and will promptly review the related facts and circumstances.
  • If BBB WGA concludes that a national charity seal participant no longer meets the BBB Charity Standards, BBB WGA will terminate the participation of the subject national charity from the seal program.
  • BBB WGA encourages national charities to distribute information about the BBB Charity Standards and their implementation among its staff to help ensure continuing compliance with these standards.