News & Updates

 

Wise Giving Wednesday: Evaluation Transparency

Feb 24, 2021

Wise Giving Wednesday previously discussed the importance of charity transparency which has been viewed in past years as the availability of charity financial information but in more recent times is seen as charities providing disclosures about a variety of areas such as those addressed in the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability.

We also strongly believe in another type of transparency that plays an important part in addressing accountability – evaluation transparency. In other words, being open about how we develop information, apply the standards and work with charities to address any issues that are identified.

Requesting Information
BBB Wise Giving Alliance requests that charities complete an online form along with additional documentation that would not typically be found on a charity’s website or in the annual financial information filed in an IRS Form 990. For example, details about board oversight of the CEO, related-party transactions, governing body meetings, in-kind contributions, appeal content, donor privacy and other matters. To learn more about the power of trust and why charities should disclose information, click here.

Applying the BBB Charity Standards
For each of the 20 BBB Charity Standards, our website provides two descriptions: (1) an explanation of the issue being addressed and (2) a detailed description of how the charity standard is implemented. It describes how the collected information would be reviewed to determine if the subject charity meets or does not meet the specified standard.

Communicating Findings and Recommendations to the Charity
BBB WGA staff contacts the subject charity, identifies any initial findings, shares recommendations on how they might be addressed, and provides a draft version of the report. The process includes back and forth communications that ultimately results in a report that is posted for free public access.  There is no charge to the charity for the accountability assessment.

Amending Findings
Charity reports with standards not met can be amended at any time based on new information or changed practices that the charity brings to BBB WGA’s attention.

While BBB WGA focuses its work on nationally soliciting charities, review of local or regional charities is available in many locations by BBBs.  These BBBs use the same Standards and a similar process to ours.

For more information about the review process, see the Accreditation Process page on Give.org and review the Explanation and Implementation boxes that appear next to each BBB Charity Standard.


Video of the Week

As part of our Building Trust Video Series, we are pleased to provide a video of Stephen Wells, Chief Executive Officer, Animal Legal Defense Fund (a BBB Accredited Charity) which seeks to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. Through its litigation program, the organization files lawsuits to stop the abuse of companion animals, and animals abused in industries including factory farming and the entertainment business. ALDF also works with law enforcement and prosecutors to seek maximum penalties for animal abusers.


Recent Reports

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

Finally, remember to let us know by going to www.give.org/charity-inquiry 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